More than two-thirds of U.S human resource professionals feel that attracting and retaining workers is now the biggest threat to the bottom-line profitability of their organisation.
A study by recruitment firm Express Personnel Services found that U.S firms are facing a growing problem as their workforce simply slips away.
With the economy continuing to grow and Baby Boomers due to retire, organisations are facing ever stiffer competition for top talent.
As a result, almost half – 47 per cent – of HR professionals polled said employee retention was now their number one concern.
Organisations that stepped up their retention strategies would come out ahead, increasing productivity, profitability and employee loyalty, said Robert A. Funk, founder and chairman of Express Personnel Services.
Companies that did a good job of retaining workers would also become preferred places to work, resulting in people wanting to stay and a line of people wanting to come on board, he suggested.
For managers, while there were tools they could use to help them with employee retention, the key challenge was knowing how best to use them.
"There is more to retention than offering competitive salaries, paid time off and insurance benefits," said Funk.
"By building trust, providing regular feedback, conducting effective annual performance reviews and giving appropriate rewards, supervisors and managers can lead their employees to a greater sense of commitment, increasing customer service, profitability and productivity," he added.
"Nurturing a committed and satisfied workforce will pay for itself many times over in higher employee retention, increased productivity and more satisfied customers, which, in turn, will drive companies to reach the next level," he continued.
After retention and staff turnover, the main worries for U.S HR professionals were recruiting/hiring (20 per cent), training (19 per cent), teamwork/teambuilding (9 per cent) and morale (5 per cent), the survey found.