Workers to exodus in next year

NEARLY one-quarter of Australian employees plan to look for a new job in the next twelve months, according to a recent study by Mercer Human Resource Consulting

NEARLY one-quarter of Australian employees plan to look for a new job in the next 12 months, a recent study by Mercer Human Resource Consulting has found.

Employees who have been in their current job for two to four years are most likely to be considering leaving. Industry sectors most vulnerable to voluntary turnover are technology/media, retail/hospitality and professional services, while workers in the financial services were most likely to stay on.

The study, which took in 1,385 workers across a variety of industries, found that if even half of those saying they’re contemplating leaving do in fact leave, Australian business is facing a potentially huge cost – ranging somewhere between $30 billion and $89 billion (based on 9.7 million in the Australian workforce, an average annual salary of $49,000 and Mercer’s estimates of turnover costs ranging from 50 per cent to 150 per cent of annual salary).

The figure is a conservative estimate, since there are an additional 8 per cent who also considering leaving, but not within the year, according to Mercer associate, Randall Pearce.

“We know from the theory of cognitive dissonance that once we entertain an idea we are much more likely to act on it. People find it difficult to be productive when they are distracted by feelings of dissatisfaction. Therein lies the danger for corporate Australia,” he said.

Citing a growing body of evidence that demonstrates employee motivation is necessary for achieving improved organisational performance across a range of business outcomes, Pearce said that Australian employers are not meeting their employees’ expectations in the areas of training and development and performance management.

From an employee’s perspective, the variables that have the greatest influence on motivation, according to the results from Whats Working The Mercer Survey of Australia at Work include: being treated with respect, achieving a satisfactory work/life balance, being able to provide good service and the quality of colleagues and co-workers.

The survey, which took in workers from the technology/media, manufacturing, financial services, retail, professional services, public sector and mining sectors, found that nearly a third of employees working in IT were actively considering changing jobs.

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