Cheaper living and higher wages anywhere but NSW

by 06 Feb 2007

Employee wages are rapidly increasing in Australia’s resource-rich states of Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia. However, while, these states enjoy the most rapid wage increases and lowest living costs, rentals are fast catching up to those in Sydney and the spiralling wages and cheap rents may not last for long, according to a study from Mercer. Results showed Western Australia is now the second highest paying state, behind NSW. Salaries in Western Australia were in line with the national general market (NGM) median for 2005, but are now 2 per cent above the NGM median and only 1 per cent below base salary in NSW. Base salaries in Queensland are now 3 per cent below the NGM median, compared with 5 per cent below in 2005. While South Australia has the lowest base salary, it edged closer to the national general market with salaries moving three percentage points closer to the NGM median in 2006. In contrast, NSW remains the highest paying state at 3 per cent above the NGM median.

Australian employers doing 360s

In keeping with worldwide trends, Australian companies are increasingly turning to 360-degree or multi-rater feedback processes to assess their employees. However, Chandler Macleod Consulting General Manager, David Reynolds, has warned that if managed incorrectly, this feedback process can have morale-damaging consequences and can wreak havoc for both individuals and organisations; in extreme cases, it can result in witch hunts and damaged self-esteem. He claimed a well thought out and implemented 360-degree feedback process should be used for things such as talent management, succession planning, and in establishing and reinforcing organisation culture (values and behaviours). Employee behaviour change that supports a company’s competitive advantage and strategic direction are said to prove the return on investment.

Labor set to abolish AWAs

The NSW Business Chamber is questioning why the Federal Opposition leader plans to abolish Australian Workplace Agreements as they allow employers and employees to agree to a range of family-friendly arrangements, including extended parental leave. The NSW Chamber of Commerce highlighted the fact that with over 150,000 job vacancies in Australia at the moment, employers would do all they could to keep quality staff through effective negotiation at the workplace level for things such as longer parental leave. The Federal Opposition is said to have already committed to the abolishment of 1 million individual agreements. However, the NSW Chamber of Commerce continues to argue that extended leave provisions are not required to be made compulsory, especially within a skills shortage environment.

Managers planning to leave

In the face of a skills shortage, Australia is set to lose even more management skills as 28 per cent of managers have said they will be resigning from their current jobs within the next 12 months, a study by employee engagement specialist James Adonis found. The recent online survey of 204 managers primarily from Australia and the US found that 8 per cent of managers plan to resign within as little as 3 months. Career support and development proved issues as 43 per cent claimed their employers did not support their development. Furthermore, while 72 per cent of respondents claimed they loved their management role, 16 per cent said they did not enjoy it.

National executive womens leadership symposium

In light of research reflecting that women hold only 12 per cent of ASX200 executive management roles, the Executive Women’s Leadership Symposium is set to debut around the country from 2 April 2007. The two-day symposium, to be held nationwide, will include keynote speakers such as The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Education, Science and Training and as the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues; Pru Goward, Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner; Christine Nixon, Victorian Police Commissioner; and Anna McPhee, Director, Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency. There will also be many more speakers. Examples of key topics include workplace diversity, engaging male champions to advance women leaders and communication patterns across genders.

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