Equine Transition #2 - Page 43

april 2019 | staffing crisis

Equine Transition / 43

What’s The Real Issue?

There are no reported statistics detailing the reasons for the shortfall in staff and we so wonder if it’s all attributed to recruitment difficulties due to a lack of suitable applicants? Or could there also be other reasons in some instances, such as, a lack of budget to employ additional staff?

There’s also no reported figure on how many staff left the industry in 2018. Which would be an interesting comparison to the figure showing 1,509 joining the industry last year. You might think on the reported figures that the problem of staff shortages would soon be solved, however, as it’s been building for a few years, let’s assume the number leaving the industry is also quite high. Which means therefore, that although much effort is put into attracting new staff to the industry, in fact, staff retention is the bigger, long-term issue here.

Staff Retention

High staff turnover is expensive for businesses, as recruitment, training, instability and the pressures of being understaffed is costly and disruptive. There are a number of factors, which combine to cause people to turn away from racing and seek employment elsewhere. Here are the main ones that reportedly impact retention of staff...

Working Hours

It was reported by ITV4 that the greatest issue stable staff have is with the working hours and having adequate time off. This is absolutely understandable. People need sufficient time off to be able to work well and to stay on a longer-term basis. The National Association of Racing Staff and the National Trainers Federation have in the last few months agreed a change to working hours to introduce the 40-hour work-week, to provide more time-off for stable staff.

Career Progression

Good people are motivated to learn and want to feel like they’re getting somewhere. Often, career progression is an issue for stable staff as there are limited positions within the yard and fewer chances to progress through the ranks. Sometimes, it’s difficult to see your career path. However, opportunities are definitely available, particularly if you’re prepared to move and actively seek them out.

Day-to-Day Appreciation

Now, this wasn’t in the survey (as far as we know), however, something that often makes a huge difference to people on a day-to-day basis is a basic show of appreciation. They deserve and require thanks and respect in order to remain motivated and committed to their work. If this seems obvious to you - great. Unfortunately, it’s not to everyone!