In a startling revelation, a new study from HR, payroll, and finance expert MHR highlights a potentially looming crisis in employee retention for 2024.

The research underscores the critical need for organisations to prioritise employee morale, with a staggering 75 percent failing to conduct regular check-ins on employee needs and attitudes.

The latest Employee Experience report by MHR emphasises the significance of employee wellbeing in overall morale.

Alarming findings from a separate MHR poll indicate that a significant 79 percent of employees doubt the authenticity of their employer’s commitment to mental health initiatives.

The lack of attention to employee perceptions is likely to lead to a retention crisis, as revealed by the study. Even among the organisations that conduct surveys, 40 percent fail to anonymise them, resulting in a lack of truthful responses from team members.

With an average response rate of just 60 percent, companies are unable to obtain adequate results, making it challenging to ensure genuine support for all employees.

Employee morale

Jeanette Wheeler, Chief HR Officer at MHR, cautions, “If companies are going to avoid these retention issues, they need to prove that they truly are committed to employee morale, especially wellbeing. Doing that not only means engaging properly with employees on what they need but also communicating any resulting initiatives effectively.”

The research suggests that the reluctance to conduct surveys is often due to time constraints, with 93 percent citing delays in receiving results and an average of seven days to analyse findings. However, a quarter (25%) express a willingness to adopt employee surveys if analysis and reporting functionalities are integrated into their current systems.

What about technology?

Technology emerges as a crucial tool to address these issues, facilitating better communication through anonymised pulse surveys and sentiment analysis. Leading platforms like People First enable employers to share updates and wellbeing initiatives through a company-wide ‘news feed,’ providing real-time information to employees.

Despite the potential benefits, MHR’s research reveals that only 50 percent of organisations currently use software for wellbeing management, representing a substantial opportunity for improvement.

Digital tools not only enhance internal communication but can also automate routine work processes, freeing up HR time to focus on more complex, people-oriented issues crucial for improving employee wellbeing and creating a better workplace experience.

Wheeler emphasises, “Clearly our research shows that there is distinct room for improvement when it comes to companies gathering an accurate picture of employee morale. If they don’t address this issue soon, they can be sure that team members will start voting with their feet.”

The cost of rehiring for a given role, considering onboarding and initial loss of productivity, can rise to £70,000 per individual. Companies neglecting wellbeing support face serious financial consequences and struggle to maintain employee satisfaction.

Wheeler concludes, “The best way to improve is to find a way to determine exactly what employees want, and then show the company has listened to what they have said, with steps being taken to do something about it. Implementing software solutions makes this much simpler for all and investing in it can avoid these issues altogether. It is a no-brainer.”






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.