06 August 2004
Housing associations are struggling to retain staff, with 42% of employees leaving the job within the first year, a study reveals.
The survey of some 2,000 staff by nine housing associations shows that most leave because of bureaucracy and workload issues, or opportunities for career progression. Pay is only a minor factor.
Management and maintenance staff are especially negative about their jobs, while support and care staff are more positive and likely to find work elsewhere in social housing. Specialists, including finance and IT staff, are also prone to moving on.
Staying on: Retaining staff in housing associations is the second major study of staffing in social housing in two years. The first, published in February 2002, found an average turnover of 16%.
The new study, on behalf of the Housing Corporation, says turnover ranges between 10% and 19%, but found no consensus about whether it is going up or down.
Published on July 29 to coincide with a Chartered Institute of Housing guide to recruitment and retention, it urges managers to examine why staff feel unhappy and offer better support.
Pete Jeffery, director of human resources at St Mungo's Community Housing Association and lead officer for the report, said the problems facing landlords reflected the 'dearth of talent' coming into social housing.
'Associations are desperate for people and may be grabbing the wrong ones,' he added.