Low confidence in the job market might be causing Australians to stay put with their current employer – a pattern not found so much in other countries.
According to recent Gartner research, 43 per cent of Australian employees are more likely to stay on with their employer compared to an international average of 32.4 per cent. Gartner’s HR advisory leader, Aaron McEwan, suggests why this might be the case.
“I think it’s largely driven by low economic growth in Australia. Intention to stay in a role is impacted when people have low confidence in the job market. We’ve not really seen any economic data that would suggest that wages are increasing or that employment opportunities are going up,” says McEwan.
Lack of professional development is driving talent away
Gartner’s report found that a lack of development opportunities was among the top three reasons why employees would consider leaving their job.
Research from recruitment agency Hays supports that view with 46 per cent of skilled professionals saying they plan to look for a new job in the next 12 months, with a lack of promotional opportunities being the main reason for more than half of them.
Their reasons are mainly due to a lack of new challenges (44 per cent), poor training and development opportunities (29 per cent) or poor work-life balance (26 per cent).
“With organisations adopting new technologies and processes, upskilling existing employees will meet their desire for new challenges and training,” says Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand.
Gartner research suggests giving responsibility to what they call a ‘connector manager’ – someone who can identify the career aspirations of their people and then connect them with opportunities and resources that will help them develop.
“If you work for a manager that is proactively helping you to develop and succeed in your career, that’s going to create a very powerful reason to be engaged and to stay,” McEwan says.
Employees are expecting more from the top
Gartner’s research also shows that employees are spending less time with their managers.
“There used to be the adage that you leave your employer, not your job. That’s not necessarily the case anymore. That direct relationship that you have with your manager is dropping down the list, which is consistent with data showing that managers have 50 per cent more direct reports than they used to and those reports are spread out geographically,” he says.
Protecting the Australian lifestyle
Australians place a huge amount of value on work-life balance. This isn’t new information, in fact McEwan says the figures have remained consistent over the last five years, what’s new is that poor work-life balance is now creeping up the list of reasons as to why employees leave their organisation.
McEwan explains, “There’s a fairly strong value placed on concepts like flexibility. We do work relatively long hours and there’s a high premium placed on protecting the Australian lifestyle”.
He says this is less of a workplace culture expectation and more of an economic factor.
“Australians mostly live in capital cities and they are some of the most expensive cities to live in. Increasingly, people have to engage in quite long commutes to get into the centre of one of these major cities which are increasingly congested.
“When Australian’s weigh up the idea that they could get an extra ten thousand dollars per year for a job that has more responsibility, they might think the dollars aren’t worth the impact that it would have on their work/life balance.”