Good news: Employee intent to stay with employer rises

Report also outlines top 10 drivers of employee attraction in Australia

Good news: Employee intent to stay with employer rises

Australian employees’ intent to stay with their employer increased to 37.8 per cent from 35.4 per cent in Q3 of 2023, while overall business confidence increased for the first time in 2023 to reach 43.1 per cent, according to a Gartner survey.

Gartner’s latest Global Talent Monitor survey data, collected between October and December 2023, revealed that change-fatigued employees are looking to avoid risky career moves and limit their exposure to workplace disruptions as they enter a new year of work.

“Employees experienced a multitude of enterprise changes last year, including return to work mandates and technology disruptions,” said Neal Woolrich, Director, HR advisory in the Gartner HR practice.

“Change fatigue, combined with the rising cost of living and a softening labour market in Australia has many employees taking a cautious approach to their next career move.”

Engagement and attraction factors

According to the survey, while engagement levels remained steady in 2023, less than one-quarter (24.3 per cent) of Australian employees consider themselves to be ‘highly’ engaged, with most (73.9 per cent) stating they are only ‘somewhat’ engaged.

The survey also reported the top 10 drivers of employee attraction in Australia, 4Q23, which are as follows:

  1. Location
  2. Work-life balance
  3. Compensation
  4. Respect
  5. Manager quality
  6. Co-worker quality
  7. Vacation
  8. Ethics
  9. Stability
  10. Future career opportunities

“Organizations need to be aware that traditional retention strategies won’t work in the current environment,” said Woolrich. “Leaders need to balance pay discussions with effective non-compensation EVP components, such as respect, manager quality and career progression to retain employees.”

Addressing change fatigue

With change fatigue, combined with the rising cost of living and a softening labour market, leaving many Australian employees with a cautious approach to their next career move, Gartner recommends two-way dialogue between leaders and employees, which can increase change success and psychological safety. When managers effectively allocate resources and goals to accommodate change, their teams are more likely to sustain workforce health through the disruption, according to the report.

“Employers must prioritize their relationships with employees to foster strong psychological safety and trust,” said Woolrich. “When employees understand that there is room to try, fail, reset and try again, they will soon start to thrive in an environment of change.”

One aspect of change fatigue employees have seen is return to office mandates. In December, Woolrich spoke at a conference suggesting organizations should focus on three strategies to successfully encourage employees into the office:

  • aligning purpose to place
  • motivating with transparency
  • making inclusion foundational.

“Return-to-office mandates can feel like an about-face in employee flexibility, autonomy, and well-being when it lacks meaning and reason, which is starkly at odds with the more human-centric corporate purpose many organizations have shifted towards.”

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