As Australian firms continue to battle the Great Resignation and consequent talent crunch, a new report sheds light on causes that are likely perpetuating the talent drain.
According to Gartner's Global Labour Market Survey, the top three drivers of attrition in Australia are:
- Manager quality
- People Management
The report identified compensation, work-life balance, location, co-worker quality, future career opportunity, recognition, and ethics, among other attrition drivers.
Employees responding to the survey stated that toxic leadership and workplace culture were the triggers of their exit. These findings clearly indicate a strong need for organisations to introspect, identify where change is overdue and take corrective action.
Gartner HR Practice Vice President Aaron McEwan believes “Australian employers are facing an ultimatum. They need to prioritise quality leadership and positive work culture or risk losing their staff to a highly competitive talent market.”
He added, “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."
Interestingly, while location wasn’t among the top reasons for attrition, it took the first spot as the most considered factor by jobseekers, the report found.
"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," said McEwan. "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."
Following location, other factors that applicants are on the lookout for include:
- Work-life Balance
- Job Interest Alignment
- Co-worker Quality
- Manager Quality
Cautioning employers pushing for a return to the workplace, he further warned against forcibly bringing back employees to offices as the pandemic declines, citing the massive change in organisational culture because of the pandemic.
Talking about what organisation culture encompasses today, McEwan said, "It used to be marked by office banter, watercooler conversation 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."
Clearly, under the given exit circumstances, even a pay hike is unlikely to suffice. As a sustainable strategy, there is an urgent need to improve leadership skills and workplace culture.