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Human Resources

Top reasons Australian employees are leaving their workplace

Health Industry Hub | June 3, 2022 |
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Human Resources: The pandemic has shifted many employees’ perception of their work and their workplace. Within a tough talent market, cultural markers of an organisation have become the biggest factors in retaining staff in Australia.

Manager quality is the top reason Australian employees cited for leaving their organisation for the fifth consecutive quarter, according to Gartner Q1 2022 survey. Respect and people management have risen in importance for Australian workers, edging out compensation and work-life balance from the top three drivers of attrition.

The survey also shows that the job market still firmly favours job seekers. Employee confidence in job availability peaked at 56% in February, by far the highest it has been in more than five years. While overall business confidence fell by 9% in January as the Omicron variant took hold, it rose again during February and March. Business confidence for the quarter overall was down 6% from the last quarter of 2021.

The data collected reveals that the proportion of employees showing high discretionary effort – willingness to go above and beyond at work – dropped within the quarter from 18.7% in February to 14.4% in March.

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Additionally, the survey revealed that less than a third (29.6%) of Australian employees are highly engaged with their organisation, and the proportion has steadily declined from the same time a year ago (37.2%).

Aaron McEwan, vice president in the Gartner HR practice, said the data shows Australian employers face an ultimatum: prioritise quality leadership and a positive work culture in your organisation or risk losing staff to a highly competitive talent market.

“When it comes to staff retention, it’s not just how the individual experiences culture, it’s whether they see the right behaviour and attitudes playing out around them too,” said McEwan.

Half of Australians surveyed ranked location in their top five reasons they would join an employer.

“Location has steadily risen in importance to Australians searching for a new job, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a swanky office in the heart of the city. Organisations must remember that workers are attracted to workplaces that embrace the ‘live and work anywhere’ philosophy, which we’ve seen increase over the pandemic,” said McEwan.

McEwan warns organisations that force a hard return to the office in an effort to restore culture risk losing their workforce. In fact, a 2021 Gartner survey revealed organisations that force their employees back to a fully on-site arrangement could lose 33% of their workforce.

“Organisational culture has changed irrevocably through the pandemic. It used to be marked by office banter, watercooler conversations and Friday drinks. If you take the office out of it, none of that matters much anymore. In a hybrid world, what’s left is behaviour, attitudes, company values and the work itself,” noted McEwan.


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