Talent retention stands out as the main challenge for employers, according to recent research conducted by HR software provider Ciphr.

The study, which surveyed 300 HR decision-makers across the UK, unveiled a spectrum of hurdles facing employers in 2024. Key concerns included retaining top talent, meeting salary expectations, and fostering a healthy work-life balance for employees.

The findings underscored the complexity of modern workplace dynamics, with respondents citing an average of 11 distinct challenges or pain points within their organisations.

Chief among these challenges was the imperative to retain skilled employees, with over half (51%) of HR professionals ranking it as their foremost concern.

Also, employers expressed apprehension regarding their ability to meet employees’ expectations around wages, work-life balance, and mental health support, with 46 percent flagging this as a pressing issue. The transition to remote or hybrid work arrangements emerged as another significant challenge, cited by 45 percent of respondents.

Employee well-being and engagement

Recruiting qualified candidates, maintaining workforce engagement, and cultivating a positive workplace culture were also identified as critical priorities, reflecting the multifaceted nature of the contemporary employment landscape.

Claire Williams, Chief People and Operations Officer at Ciphr, emphasised the pivotal role of investing in employees amidst evolving economic and technological landscapes. Williams highlighted the necessity for organisations to adapt to changing workforce demographics and expectations, urging leaders to prioritise employee well-being and engagement.

Williams stressed that while budget constraints may pose challenges, investing time and effort in enhancing the employee experience can yield substantial returns in terms of retention and organisational success.

The research further revealed that HR teams have identified talent retention, recruitment, and employee well-being as their top priorities for the year. Resolving salary issues and providing ongoing training were also emphasised as critical focus areas.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.