Staff turnover in Romanian companies decreased significantly last year to an average rate of 17.2%, from 23.1% in 2019, amid the economic uncertainties brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to PwC Romania’s HR Barometer report.
Of that 17.2%, the majority (13.2% of total staff) were voluntary terminations. The Retail and FMCG sector recorded the highest staff turnover rate of 25.1%, with financial services recording the lowest rate, at 8%.
“Amid the uncertainty created by the pandemic, the labour market experienced a slight freeze last year. Employees preferred stability and safety, and employers recruited less than in previous years or not at all. After a period of waiting, as remote work proved to be functional in many sectors, companies began to rethink their labour relations, by focusing on flexibility and mobility. Employers have understood that the changes of the last year are not cyclical and that they need to adapt their business models to those trends. We are, therefore, on the threshold of a long-term transformation process, and the fact that many companies have included salary increases in their 2021 budgets shows that both employers and employees are gradually getting used to the new normal”, said Ionuț Simion (photo), Country Managing Partner, PwC Romania.
According to the report, the salary budgets of the responding companies are set to increase by an average of 3.8% this year, compared to the 5.6% increase in 2020.
The future of teleworking
Last year, telework turned from a benefit into a necessity and is expected to continue for many employees in the long run. Thus, 43% of the companies responding to HR Barometer showed that they would apply telework in the long term, with 52% still analysing the situation. Only 5% didn’t consider a long-term need for teleworking or declared that it isn’t relevant for their activity.
Regarding the model applied, 44% indicated that they would alternate office work with teleworking, with employees deciding what’s best for them, 40% would combine schedule-based office and telework, 16% would adopt permanent teleworking for certain employees who chose to do so, and 2% stated that permanent teleworking would be mandatory for certain employees.
“Remote working proved its effectiveness last year, so it’s expected that it would be applied by many organisations in the long term. That approach is likely to be preferred due to the uncertain development of the pandemic, which won’t disappear any time soon, and to the benefits that have emerged for both employees (protection, flexibility, autonomy) and employers (cost reductions). The next challenge is to find a way to continue teleworking in a way that maximises the benefits while reducing the side effects on business processes with reduced effectiveness in the virtual environment, or on the well-being of employees seriously affected during this period”, said Oana Munteanu, People & Organisation Director, PwC Romania.
She mentioned that technology will allow for very versatile and personalised policies, but an overall rethink of several human resources policies, especially compensation and benefits strategies, is also needed.
Last year, companies reduced their budget for learning and development by a year-on-year average of 7%, with Retail / FMCG recording the largest decrease, of 27.5%. For 2021, however, the Retail / FMCG sector estimates an increase of over 23% in the funds allocated for learning and development, with a market average increase of 27.5% estimated over the figures reported for 2020.
The HR Barometer survey was conducted by PwC from 27 January to 1 February 2021 based on the information provided by 56 participating companies in IT&C, BPO Industrial Products, Energy (Utilities / Petroleum Products), Pharmaceutical / Medical, Financial Services and FMCG / Retail.
Almost a third (32%) of the responding companies have between 101 – 500 employees, 23% have under 100 employees, 18% have 1,001 – 3,000 employees, 18% over 3,000 employees and 9% have 501 – 1,000 employees.