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Rising rate of labour turnover suggests employers are not doing enough to persuade staff to stay

Resignations have increased in the year to February 2010, despite growing fears over job security.

The 2010 National Management Salary Survey, published by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and XpertHR, reveals a labour turnover rate of 13.6%, up from 12.4% in 2009. Resignations stand at 4.7%, compared with 4.5%, last year.

The survey results also imply employers are failing to persuade staff to stay, with requests for ‘internal transfers' as an alternative to leaving dropping to 3.6% from a high of 5.8% last year.

According to the survey of 43,312 individuals in 197 organisations, earning power has dropped dramatically in the past year, with take home pay heavily influenced by where people work and what they do.

Asked what lies behind this desire to change jobs, more than half the employers questioned (53.8%) admitted restructuring and job insecurity caused many of their staff to ‘jump ship'.  

Almost four out of 10 (38.5%) recognised their ‘failure to offer career opportunities and training' contributed to employees leaving and 61.5% admitted headhunters and recruitment consultants had turned their employees' heads.

With unemployment figures currently quoted at 2.47 million, an additional unexpected result from this year's survey is that employers are struggling to recruit staff. According to the data, 46% of employers admitted they couldn't fill vacancies, with the majority (77%) citing the lack of specialist skills among candidates as a key reason. Almost one quarter (24%) blame the salaries they are able to offer and 15% suggest their location is a factor.

Ruth Spellman, chief executive of the CMI, said: "A year ago employers were looking at job transfers as a way of halting growth of the dole queue.  However, with the latest figures showing that staff are prepared to run the risk of unemployment by jumping ship, questions must be asked about employee engagement levels in organisations up and down the country.  

"It is clearly time for business to grow up. We can no longer afford to reward people with pay rise after pay rise especially as all the evidence suggests that money isn't the main motivator anymore.  Instead, employers must concentrate on building remuneration packages that incorporate earnings with development opportunities, offer flexible approaches to work and recognition of the need to better engage with staff."