Talent retention challenges in 2023 and how to overcome them

The so-called Great Resignation that employers have had to face in recent years looks set to continue in 2023, with the current economic backdrop only adding fuel to the fire as individuals weigh up their options. MHR believes that the success or failure of a business depends on its people and so it is critical that businesses try to buck this trend and retain their top talent.

While reasons for employee discontent are many and varied, there are some key challenges that businesses can focus on over the next year. As such, organisations must find ways to address the issues below in 2023 if they want to effectively keep hold of the employees that can help them grasp the opportunities, as well as weather the challenges, of the years ahead.

The bottom line

The Office of Budget Responsibility has predicted that the UK economy will shrink by 1.4% in 2023, placing significant financial pressure on businesses, many of whom are still recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Naturally, one of the main roadblocks to talent retention in 2023 for organisations will be budget, with many simply not having the funds to spend.

It is easy to say ‘increase wages’ or ‘expand your employee benefits offering’, but not only will these knee-jerk responses take a substantial toll on a company’s bottom line, they have little impact on wider company culture – something that is at the heart of employee retention. Instead of sinking money into short-term fixes, businesses need to instead think about how they can invest in organisational unity for the future.

Digital transformation

Despite the clear advantages of integrating technology into work processes, many companies have still been slow to advance company-wide digital transformation. Take payroll, for example. MHR research found 72% of organisations are still using unreliable, manual methods to complete it. Paper-based payroll processes are prone to inaccuracies and human error – as well as being costly from a compliance perspective, this can be costly to retention too. Our research found that 50% of employees would consider leaving an employer for repeated salary errors.

Digitalising work processes may come with upfront costs, but its improvement of operational efficiency will help to reduce expenditure in the long term. On top of this, having employees work from the same digital platform removes silos and enables cross-department collaboration, not only boosting consistency across the company but creating a better work culture – something that is crucial in retaining clients and employees.

Dealing with change

A lot of businesses are resistant to change, with many having neglected to update their work process in years. MHR research found that more than 8 in 10 businesses (84%) acknowledge that their reliance on legacy systems is causing challenges and disruption to their business.

In addition to being able to adapt to external change, talent retention is, to a large extent, about being able to understand and adapt to changing employee attitudes towards, and expectation of, ways of working. Increasingly, innovative technology can enable organisations to do this and is an essential ingredient for those looking to retain talent in the long term and enhance the agility, efficiency and overall resilience of their workforce.