One in three Australians eyeing a new job

Monday, 09 October, 2023

One in three Australians eyeing a new job

New industry research shows that cost of living increases and changes in employee priorities are putting pressure on firms to engage and retain talent.

The Australian Talent & Engagement Report from Reward Gateway reveals that workers who feel they are not getting what they want from current roles are open to exploring opportunities, with one in three reporting they are currently looking for new employment or intend to look in the next year. 61% say they would leave their current employment due to poor pay, 51% because they are overworked and 48% because of poor company culture.

One-quarter (25%) are waiting for the economy to improve before seeking new employment, while over half (53%) say that stress from the increasing cost of living is having a negative impact on their work.

The conditions have a knock-on effect, with disgruntled employees who remain due to economic concerns, increased attrition and mounting financial strain all affecting productivity, as under-resourced and overworked teams become increasingly disengaged.

The upshot is a significant challenge for Australian employers — a competitive job market, increased lead times and heightened hiring costs stretching already tight HR budgets.

“Organisations are having to work a lot harder to retain talent and consider more creative methods to connect and support their people — methods that they might have overlooked in the past but are working now,” said Kylie Terrell, Director of Consultancy, ANZ, at Reward Gateway.

Employee needs and priorities are shifting, with a greater focus on wellbeing support, culture, connection and recognition. While pay is a critical factor, there are things employees consider more important than a 10% pay rise, including a manager that cares about their wellbeing (62%), flexibility in work location (59%), being able to learn and grow in their role (55%), and a feeling of belonging at work (56%).

According to the report, 68% of HR leaders are planning to increase their investment in hiring, onboarding, communication, recognition and reward, benefits, and learning and development.

Meaningful benefits, like discount programs that help employees save on everyday costs, can provide immediate financial wellbeing support at a time when employees really need it — but ensuring employees are aware of these benefits is crucial. The research revealed a significant disconnect between HR and employees on their organisation’s financial wellbeing offering, with 92% of HR managers saying their employer’s financial wellbeing offering is helpful, but 47% of employees saying the offering is dissatisfactory or below average.

Kylie Green, Managing Director, APAC at Reward Gateway, says improving engagement is the key.

“The cost of remuneration in Australia has increased over the past five years, but our productivity hasn’t improved at an equivalent rate. Leaders are increasingly looking at how to improve employee engagement so they can maximise the performance and productivity of their current teams and build a strong workforce over the long term.”

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