In a recent survey released by Hays, which surveyed 1,516 people, 61 per cent of respondents said the number one reason they look for another job is for more challenging or exciting work.
This was followed closely by a lack of career development (60 per cent), the opportunity to improve salary (58 per cent) and work/life balance (54 per cent).
Hays senior regional director for accountancy and finance Susan Drew said accounting firms that had a good reputation with “good career development and training” were less likely to lose employees.
“All staff need to receive upskilling and training at all stages of their career, and as well as formal classroom-style training, it also includes on the job mentoring and coaching,” Ms Drew said.
“Staff that receive regular training, feedback from their managers and understand how their role impacts the business are more engaged and [are] therefore less likely to look elsewhere.”
The survey results further showed that 43 per cent of respondents switched jobs due to a lack of recognition for completed work, followed by 30 per cent who said their current job felt routine and stagnated skill development, while 24 per cent felt they were not involved in decision making.
Ms Drew said the top areas accountants should focus on to keep their staff members on board included: upskilling and training staff; providing work/life balance; rewarding good work; and providing mentoring and coaching.
“Work/life balance is a high priority to many employees, with more people having commitments outside of work and wanting to make more time with their family. Also, with the technology advancements it makes it easier for people to gain this as they can work from home or respond to emails no matter where they are,” Ms Drew said.
“Another deciding factor for someone to look elsewhere is not enough recognition for the work they produce... Firms should offer their staff, incentives and benefits or bonuses to show that they have appreciated their work and that they are a valued employee.
“Similarly to training, all staff need to be mentored and coached. Staff who feel that they’re given support from their manager feel comfortable around them and that their manger is truly dedicated to their career path which as we mentioned earlier is very important to accounting staff.”