With the UK economy taking its first steps towards recovery, Human Resources Directors (HRDs) reveal their top three talent threats for the next twelve months in one of the largest surveys into HRD opinion carried out this year.  The number one issue identified by HRDs is talent management and retention, followed by succession planning and increasing employee engagement.

ADP®, a leading global provider of Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions – commissioned market research company Opinion Matters to survey more than 200 UK Human Resources Directors. The research forms part of ADP’s The Workforce View in 2013 report, launched in November.  Based on independent research among over 2500 employees, the report gives a comprehensive view on employee attitudes about work and explores the fit between HRD and employee priorities.

The top three threats identified by HRDs reveal a strong concern about the impact of people on organisational performance.  Almost one third (31%) of Human Resources Directors identify talent management and retention as the top threat to their organisations.

Asked to explain their specific concerns, almost half (46%) of HRDs pinpoint a lack of fresh talent as an immediate challenge to maintaining and growing the talent pool.  Linked to this, over a third (35%) see talent gaps due to reduced recruitment levels as the next most pressing challenge.

Underlining the importance of leadership in organisational performance, HRDs identify concerns about succession planning as the second largest threat to their organisations.  This is closely followed by ‘increasing employee engagement’, again showing HRDs focusing on the link between people and performance.

To provide deeper insights into employee motivation, the research asked HRDs to rank the top factors for engagement outside of pay. By some margin, praise and recognition at work were identified as the number one factor (identified by 59% of HRDs), followed by providing flexible working conditions (46%) and ensuring a fair and open leadership structure (45%).


The employee survey, conducted in parallel with the HRD survey, allowed the examination of the degree to which HRDs and employees agree on the key factors for motivation.  It revealed a strong degree of alignment on engagement, with HRDs agreeing with employees that ‘praise and recognition’ is the number one driver for motivating people.  HRDs also agreed with employees that flexible working conditions are the second most important factor in motivation.

Hazel Privett, Human Resources Director, ADP UK, said: “As the economic climate improves, it is encouraging to see HRDs focused on the strategic people and performance issues that will allow their organisations to take advantage of the upswing. It is encouraging that HRDs seem to be in tune with employee opinion when it comes to drivers of engagement and high performance at work. This alignment of views is vital for an effective people strategy.”

For more information on “The Workforce View in 2013” research, please visit