Toxic leadership is driving the Great Resignation

What attracts and drives away employees?

Toxic leadership is driving the Great Resignation

Toxic leadership and workplace culture are the most cited reasons by employees for departing their organisations, which means that employers may need to take a hard look at these factors if they want to retain their staff.

Gartner's Global Labour Market Survey revealed that the highest attrition driver in Australia is manager quality, followed by respect, and people management in third.

This shows that Australian employers are facing an ultimatum, according to Gartner HR practice vice president Aaron McEwan, where they need to prioritise quality leadership and positive work culture or risk losing their 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 in a statement.

Other drives of attrition include:

  1. Compensation
  2. Work-life Balance
  3. Location
  4. Co-worker Quality
  5. Future Career Opportunity
  6. Recognition
  7. Ethics

Read more: How can HR drive culture amid hybrid work?

Attracting staff

In terms of attracting staff, however, location placed first as the most considered factor by applicants, according to the report.

"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."

He further warned against attempts by employers to forcibly bring back employees to offices as the pandemic declines, citing the massive change on organisational culture because of the pandemic.

"It used to be marked by office banter, watercooler conversation and Friday drinks," said McEwan on organisational culture.

"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."

Other factors that attract employees include:

  1. Compensation
  2. Respect
  3. Work-life Balance
  4. Ethics
  5. Job Interest Alignment
  6. Co-worker Quality
  7. Vacation
  8. Manager Quality
  9. Stability

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