Australians are on the look out for new jobs as a way to a decent pay rise. They're losing confidence in the business and political environment - and aren't putting as much effort into their roles as they used to.
Australians are at a tipping point at work, feeling waves of instability from politics, business and the property market. They are on the look out for new jobs, partly as a way to get a pay rise as wage increases flatline, despite unpredictable market conditions, according to analysis by Gartner.
Gartner’s Global Talent Monitor report for Q218 shows discretionary effort fell more than 2% over the June quarter, confidence in the business environment dropped nearly 1.5%, and intent to stay fell 3.2%, continuing a downward trend from the start of 2018.
“Several things are happening at once — political and business leadership is wavering, global economic confidence has faltered, and the property market has weakened; employees in Australia are feeling the volatility and instability in both their personal and professional lives,” says Aaron McEwan, HR advisory leader at Gartner.
“The typical employee reaction to uncertainty is for workers to put their heads down, focus and ride out the storm with their current employer.
"However, employees are getting itchy feet and they know that if they don’t move now, the looming Christmas recruitment cycle means they’re unlikely to find a new job until Q1 next year."
McEwan says that many employees have figured out that the easiest way to get a pay increase is to find another job.
"And, of course it’s our best performers that have more choice, so they jump first," he says.
Offical numbers show wage growth in Australia rose by 0.6% for the June quarter in seasonally adjusted terms, leaving annual growth at 2.1%.
The Gartner data reveals that stability has become increasingly important to employees; climbing into fourth place as a key driver of attraction for Australian workers, alongside work/life balance, location and respect.
At the same time, work/life balance has climbed four places and is now the fourth most important reason why a person will leave their job in search of a new one.
“In a competitive labour market where it’s tough to find the right talent, employers need to re-evaluate their Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to make sure they are focusing on what matters most to employees. In this case, organisations should inject stability and balance into their workplaces,” says McEwan.
To re-engage employees and stop them jumping ship, employers should look to personalise their engagement strategies. This means understanding and focusing on what employees value from their experiences with the company, rather than implementing policies, systems and processes that attempt to be all things to all employees.
Research shows there are significant benefits to an approach that places an emphasis on employee values, including a 14% increase in employee performance compared to companies that adopt a one size fits all approach.
Flexible work, for instance, can mean different things to different employees. While one person may enjoy flexible working hours during school holidays, others may opt for flexible working every day. It’s having the option that makes employees feel valued and satisfied with their employer.
“For example, parental leave has a greater emotional investment compared to other types of leave and often results in lots of questions and concerns about status, pay and benefits," says McEwan.
"It requires a unique approach and must be handled differently depending on the needs of the employee."
Here's how Australia compares to the rest of the world, according to the second quarter 2018 Global Talent Monitor:
Global Talent Monitor data is drawn from the larger Gartner Global Labour Market Survey which is made up of more than 22,000 employees in 40 countries. The survey is conducted quarterly and is reflective of market conditions during the quarter preceding publication.