Employers warned of impending resignation wave

employee leaves, great resignation
Hand of employer filing final remuneration to employee, letter of resignation, resign concept.

A new report highlights the fact that many Australian workers are planning to leave their current jobs and seek new opportunities elsewhere.

According to people management platform Employment Hero’s The Employee Movement and Retention Report, 48 per cent of the 1000 workers surveyed plan to look for a new role in the next year, with 40 per cent planning to look in the next six months. And 15 per cent of workers are already looking for a new role now.

Of the workers not looking to move roles, 20 per cent believe it is risky to try and change jobs at this time due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. However, as lockdowns and restrictions continue to lift between now and the end of the year, some of these workers are likely seek new jobs as well.

For those looking for a new role in a different organisation, 31 per cent identified a lack of career opportunities as the top reason for wanting to leave, while 30 per cent reported no pay rise, 26 per cent said it was a lack of appreciation or recognition, and 21 per cent say it was poor company culture.

“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,” Alex Hattingh, Chief People Officer at Employment Hero, said.

“If a business doesn’t have the means or structure available to offer promotions at this time, they can set up a career development pathway for their staff,” Hattingh added. “Companies need to work with their people to plan where they would like their career to go and outline how they can help them get there; whether that be with additional training, internal mentorship or a change of responsibilities.

“Appreciation and recognition doesn’t have to come in the form of large bonuses or frequent promotions; small shows of appreciation can be powerful,” Hattingh continued. “In fact, businesses may find that their team benefits more from regular reinforcement, rather than waiting for yearly monetary displays. Remember, 26 per cent of workers seeking new roles were doing so because they felt underappreciated. 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.”

Ben Thompson, co-founder and CEO of Employment Hero, warned businesses looking to grow quickly following the pandemic to start getting prepared now.

“We have six months before Australia’s projected ‘Great Resignation’ ushers in the ‘Great Recruitment Rush’,” Thompson said. “The pandemic has made employers realise that remote working is not just a viable option, it can often boost productivity and improve employee work/life balance.

“Companies who do not adjust to flexible working risk being left behind in a candidate-driven market,” Thompson added. “Of course, workers understand that not every industry can facilitate remote working, but if a business can find a way to share that they respect workers’ personal lives and time, this will be an asset to them.

“Businesses need to turn their attention back to growth, but with a people-centric perspective. If people fuel a business, how can businesses keep and find the best people who will be invested in seeing their business scale? It takes time, effort and consideration, but the more businesses invest in their employees, the more they invest in their business,” Thompson concluded.