Employee retention: Half of your staff want to leave, and it’s your fault

According to recently published research, 47% of employees are looking for a new job. At any one time nearly half of the people in your company are thinking about jumping ship to another company. This information should worry companies who have dealt with replacing employees and dealing with massively disengaged employees in the past. Particularly the ones with no formal employee recognition in place.

At the source of this problem are poor pay conditions, feeling unappreciated at work, and a belief that these problems are best solved outside your company. When nearly half of UK employees are thinking like this, it’s up to employers to look at themselves.

While the financial situation in your company isn’t an area we’d want to comment on, employee recognition is very much in our wheelhouse. Taking employee recognition seriously is something any business can do. It’s a low cost approach to improving the relationship between employees, employers, and their work. Done properly it improves engagement, retention, productivity and job satisfaction.

Employee recognition matters

Making employees feel important and valued by your company means embracing recognition. It goes beyond the moment of recognition though, it’s an informing part of how your company sees its employees and who they are in the workplace.

Define your culture

Not only does recognition help employees see they are prized by their employer, but it also shows them where your values are. The behaviours you recognise, and are seen to celebrate, become the manifestation of your company’s priorities. A company culture with a set of public values is increasingly seen as a priority by staff when looking for a job.

Keep it manageable

You don’t have to recognise every employee for everything positive they do. It’s not reasonable for a company to manage that; it would only diminish the value of recognition for employees. The behaviours which merit recognition should feel noteworthy for both employees and their peers. This way you’re only doling out praise for above-and-beyond efforts while contributing to your company culture.


More connected and collaborative teams are more likely to want to work together. The better a team gets along, the more likely they are to stick together. This means giving a team the power to recognise each other’s good work. Ultimately this leads to cohesive teams with members who are less likely to look for another position.

Improve image

As we’ve pointed out before, the behaviours you choose to celebrate show your employees where your priorities are. Creating a more positive internal perception of your company, by adherence to its values, makes your employees happier to be associated with your brand and less likely to want to leave.

Engagement top ups

Recognition is a large part of improving overall employee engagement, and engaged employees are more likely to be retained. They’re also more likely to produce higher quality work when they’re culturally on board with your organisation.

Employee recognition is a low cost, high impact way to make a significant difference to your company and its relationship with its workers. No company is going to regret embracing something which costs so little to implement and has such marked upsides.

When it’s possible as many as half of your employees are working with one foot out the door, it’s vital to take action. While increasing wages is a tricky proposition, recognition is a far simpler idea to implement.