Why do Australian businesses keep losing staff?

The top reasons for voluntary resignation are factors within organisations’ control and can be prevented

Why do Australian businesses keep losing staff?
Is your organisation offering meaningful career development opportunities for employees?

If not, you could be at risk of losing staff, according to the 2017 Staff Retention Report, released by the Institute of Managers and Leaders (IML) as part of the National Salary Survey (NSS).

Interestingly, the study found the top reasons for voluntary resignation were factors all within organisations’ control and can be prevented.

It found 79% of staff left to seek new challenges, 58% resigned due to limited career advancement, and 46% left over insufficient financial reward.

Moreover, the report found that because there is an average cost of $23,753 to rehire each lost worker, Australian organisations are facing substantial financial losses due to poor staff retention.

The report is based on a snapshot of responses received from 246 organisations across Australia who completed the NSS.

David Pich FIML, chief executive of the Institute of Managers and Leaders, said the report illustrates employees are staying with organisations not for superficial perks such as free lunches or pool tables, but for opportunities that will help achieve their personal and career goals.

“Staff stay when their organisations show they value them by investing in their professional development and providing a clear path for career progression,” he said.

“The best way for organisations to retain their talent is to make a role more meaningful by adding value to their employees.

“It’s astonishing the talent and money an organisation will lose over something that is so easily prevented.”

Based on the top factors driving resignation and measuring the retention rates across organisations with different benefits and policies, the report recommended that organisations need to invest in increasing the value of their staff.

Offering a more competitive compensation package, health and wellbeing benefits, professional development activities and a clear path for career progress ensures organisations are not suffering financial losses due to unsatisfied staff.

Sam Bell FIML, the Institute’s general manager of corporate services and research, added that in order to engage and motivate employees and to maximise retention strategies, employers need to take a proactive approach to understanding what motivates their employees and what human resource policies and practices make their organisation more appealing than their competitors.”

HRD also recently spoke to Aaron McEwan, HR advisory leader at CEB, now Gartner, about the many benefits for employers make L&D a priority.

He said that for employers who get it right, career development can become the “hot ticket for talent attraction and retention”.

“Creating opportunities for internal movement, which gives employees the opportunity to move from role to role within the organisation and learn new skills along the way, is a great way to champion employee development,” said McEwan.

“Career development doesn’t have to focus on a direct vertical progression, it can look sideways for areas of potential growth and future needs.

“Today’s dedicated and determined workforce are looking for new ways that they can thrive and grow professionally.

“They want to know that no matter where their career takes them, their skills will be relevant and in-demand.”

Related stories:
Four ways to create an outstanding workplace
Three innovative staff perks at HubSpot
How to get the CFO onside to support employee perks

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