Managers leave their jobs in growing numbers

The number of managers who left their positions rose last year even in the face of the recession, a new report has revealed.

According to research carried out by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), 4.7 per cent of managers handed in letters of resignation in 2009 compared with 4.5 per cent in the previous year.

The CMI reported that some 225,600 managers left their jobs in the year to January.

Asked for the main reasons for the departures, over half of the employers that responded (58 per cent) conceded that restructuring and job insecurity caused many of their staff to 'jump ship'.

A significant proportion (38.5 per cent) recognised that their failure to offer career opportunities and training contributed to employees leaving.

The CMI said that, given the widespread understanding that engaged staff are more loyal, it was alarming that 61.5 per cent of employers also admitted that their employees' heads had been turned by recruitment consultants.

One unexpected finding in the CMI survey was that employers are struggling to recruit managerial staff. 

Some 46 per cent of employers admitted they cannot fill vacancies, with the majority (77 per cent) citing the lack of specialist skills amongst candidates. 

Almost one in four (24 per cent) blamed the salaries they are able to offer, and 15 per cent suggested their location was a factor.

Ruth Spellman, chief executive of the CMI, said of the survey: "A year ago employers were looking at job transfers as a way of halting growth of the dole queue.

"However, with the latest figures showing that staff are prepared to run the risk of unemployment by jumping ship, questions must be asked about employee engagement levels in organisations up and down the country."

Ms Spellman urged firms to adopt a more imaginative and progressive approach to cementing staff loyalty.

She said: "We can no longer afford to reward people with pay rise after pay rise, especially as all the evidence suggests that money isn't the main motivator anymore. 

"Instead, employers must concentrate on building remuneration packages that incorporate earnings with development opportunities, offer flexible approaches to work and recognition of the need to better engage with staff."