New research finds half of Kiwi employees considering job change in next year

This is the key reason they're planning to jump ship

New research finds half of Kiwi employees considering job change in next year

Half of New Zealand’s workers plan to look for a new job within the next year, according to a fresh survey of 1,000 employees. Just shy of 40% will explore new employment options in the next six months and 20% are currently looking, as revealed by Employment Hero’s Employee Movement and Retention Report.

The data points to stagnant salaries as the main reason for employees wanting to jump ship, with 37% identifying a lack of pay rise as the top factor, followed by limited career opportunities and a lack of recognition. Women were 21% more likely than men to choose pay as the main motivating factor and 62% said a salary increase would encourage them to stay put.

Alex Hattingh, chief people officer at Employment Hero, said the cost of turnover is especially high amid New Zealand’s talent-short market.

“Handing out pay rises is not always feasible for businesses against the backdrop of the pandemic, but if businesses can afford to give their workers a salary increase, now is the time for them to take action,” she said. “For example, businesses could reallocate a small amount of funds from elsewhere in the business to bolster their team’s salaries. I’m sure a small salary increase would be employees’ preference to a lavish Christmas party, and may even keep them motivated and feeling loyal.”

Read more: How HR can boost morale – without being cheesy

The research found the desire to switch jobs is particularly high among younger workers. Employees aged 25-34 were the most likely to change roles, with 67% indicating that they plan on finding a new job in the next 12 months. Younger workers also appear to be more proactive about job hunting. The research found 39% of 25 – 34 year olds have spoken to a recruiter in the last six months.

While pay is certainly a factor for the heightened jobseeking activity, it’s not the main consideration when Kiwi employees are considering the next role. According to respondents, the prospect of doing a job they find enjoyable is equally as important as a salary increase.

Read more: Forming a hybrid workforce: How to go beyond the fundamentals

Hattingh said HR leaders should be thinking about more than just salary when it comes to retaining their people. Carving out career pathways is another way to boost engagement and foster loyalty with a long-term vision, along with regular opportunities for reward and recognition.

“Appreciation and recognition doesn’t have to come in the form of large bonuses or frequent promotions; small shows of appreciation can be powerful. In fact, businesses may find that their team benefits more from regular reinforcement, rather than waiting for yearly monetary displays,” she said.

“Remember, 30 percent of workers seeking new roles were doing so because they felt under appreciated. If a company doesn’t have a culture of recognition at their workplace, this should be high on the agenda over the next critical six months.”

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