Over the last couple of months, there's been a power shift in the world of business and the latest figures show it's now very much the employee, rather than the employer, in the driving seat when it comes to negotiating terms and conditions.
According to research conducted by Adzuna both job vacancies and advertised salaries are on the rise, indicating that companies are willing to go to additional lengths to secure top personnel.
In the last year, the number of vacancies increased by around one-fifth, while the average pay for these posts also went up by 1.7 per cent between May and June.
Good news if you're ready to look for pastures new, but bad if you're a business that is pinning its own hopes for the future on keeping hold of its best workers.
This obviously leads us to the question of what tools do firms have at their disposal to retain those star performers? If one thing's for certain, it's that standing still and doing nothing is not an option.
While the economy is undeniably on the up, the possibility of using cash as a key incentive to form part of their retention strategy is still something that many companies would prefer not to turn to.
As well as the financial implications of such a move, there's also the issue of whether or not this approach is even as effective as you might think. Research carried out by the Institute of Leadership & Management found just 13 per cent of workers were of the view that the offer of a cash bonus was the best way to motivate them.
In contrast, why not considering implementing a flexible working policy? It's significantly cheaper to introduce than a salary-based initiative and can generate increased levels of loyalty and long-term association to a firm.
However, these benefits appear to merely complement a much wider purpose for its introduction to a company. A survey of 2,500 managers by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development found more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of respondents listed staff retention as their main reason for adopting a flexible working policy.
But why does this approach make such a difference? For a start, you are showing staff that you are willing to put your trust in them to get their jobs done, even if they aren't working under your nose. This strengthens your relationship with the workforce.
Secondly, it can dramatically improve a person's work/life balance. If they are given the freedom to choose when and where they do their duties, this has the potential to make a life-changing impact on their daily routines, as they no longer have to worry about fitting in tasks like:
- The school run
- Going to see their doctor
- Beating the morning/evening rush-hour
- Arranging after-school childcare
This alone can be enough to encourage a member of staff not to look elsewhere and isn't exclusive to those who have young families.
How can conference calling support flexible working?
Of course, it's natural for employers to worry about business continuity if they allow their staff to work from home more often, but it's a concern that can be easily resolved.
By using our free conference calling services, you can ensure that staff are able to participate in training sessions, company meetings and client calls regardless of where they are based.
This means there is minimal risk of personnel feeling as though they are being left out of the loop if they don't regularly work in the office, while managers can still have consistent updates on the progress of projects their staff might be focusing on and offer their feedback and support when it is required.
It's a win-win situation and can potentially make a big impact on how we all do business in the coming years, so why not give it a go?