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Better engagement required to prevent staff attrition

Managers need to communicate better with staff to avoid an employee drain in the near future, a psychometrics expert has warned.

Many believe the economic recovery will lead to large numbers of employees seeking to move companies, looking for better salaries and working conditions.

In the construction and engineering sectors, 47% of employees claim they want to move in 2014. If this does happen, companies will need to come up with a strategy to prevent losing their top talent. 

Martin Reed, CEO and chairman of psychometric people management tool provider Thomas International, told HR magazine managers will have to take employee engagement a lot more seriously to avoid significant attrition.

"Managers are often weak when it comes to engaging with their staff; they tend to get distracted by other things" he said. "Both employees and managers are reluctant to have difficult conversations about issues in the workplace. Frequent and effective one-to-ones, as well as frank and open conversations about problems in the workplace are crucial," he said. 

Some younger managers may not yet realise the scale of the problems they are facing. A lack of experience in dealing with these challenges and failing to take the issue seriously enough could spell trouble, according to Reed.

"This is a massive issue. It would be naïve of any people managers not to realise that," he said. 

Reed also claimed increasing work pressures due to the recession will need to be managed during the recovery.

"Often people will have been recruited for one role and will have ended up taking on two or three more on top of that. Employees need to feel they are valued in the role they currently perform, not just the one they were recruited for," he said.