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          One in four chief executives knows how important it is to have their office space filled with the right people to perform the tasks required of them, a new survey has found.

          Research conducted on 3,000 leading figures in the business world by KPMG found that the issue only came second to financial considerations.

          Anna Marie Detert, director in KPMG’s People and Change consulting practice, said: “The simple fact is that boardrooms have realised that they cannot afford to lose good people.”

          Since the economic downturn there has been more emphasis on recruiting the best people as they are what is needed in order to make all aspects of the business work correctly.

          Even the financial considerations which came out at the top of the survey are partially dependent on employees and how efficient they are in their working practices and as assets to the business.

          In order to make sure that the top talent stays with companies those in charge understand that their role must be a proactive one.

          Motivating staff came out as the highest priority for 43 per cent of respondents, showing the need for employees to feel good in their work.

          Some 30 per cent of those surveyed said that they offer ways in which members of staff can develop their skills and careers within the company, which is emerging as an important factor in staff retention.

          Ms Detert said: “Clearly, lessons have been learned from past recessions. Without high-potential future leaders and individuals with business critical skills, it is simply not possible to drive through important initiatives that can restore or improve an organisation’s economic status.”

          The provision of flexible working has been emerging as a key way in which companies retain their best staff as it helps them to balance their work and personal commitments.

          As it becomes more widespread many people are seeing it as standard practice and not just a benefit, so those who do not offer it may well find their firms miss out on the best staff.

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