Lots of Australian workers are miserable, and blame company culture

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Australians are increasingly unhappy at work with company culture and slow wage growth encouraging them to look for something better.

Four in five Australians (81.9%) leave their current role in search of new challenges and more than half get out because of limited career opportunities, according to the 2016 National Salary Survey by the Australian Institute of Management (AIM).

Part of the reason is pay. According to the analysis of data from 25,000 employees across Australia, 44.4% leave because they are looking for better financial rewards.

National salary growth decreased to 3% in 2016 from 4.1% in 2012. This downward trend is forecast to continue in 2017, especially in Queensland and Western Australia which have been affected by the mining downturn.

David Pich, AIM’s chief executive, says businesses are worried workplace culture is to blame with 63.7% citing this as the human resource issue they are most concerned about.

“Retaining staff is no easy feat,” says Pich.

“Employees can become restless in roles that have limited career advancements or where they don’t enjoy their time at work.

“Combine that with a volatile property and rental market and the pressure to contribute more to their superannuation fund, it’s no wonder staff are becoming disillusioned and feel the need to move jobs as a perceived guarantee to a salary increase.”

Pich suggests that business leaders create a positive and inspiring workplace culture to decrease staff turnover and retain human resource.

“People don’t leave companies; they leave leaders,” Pich says.

“Great managers and leaders make decisions that impact people’s lives and that impact can be felt well beyond the workplace. We spend about a third of our working-age lives doing just that – working.”

Another reason for this restlessness at work could be technology.

The majority of Australian workers (73%) say their office is too slow to adopt the latest technologies, according to a survey of 1,002 full-time workers in Australia and New Zealand by fintech webexpenses.

“It’s time for employers to begin identifying the areas where they can alleviate gripes for workers, and so often this begins with examining the technology in place, and understanding where it can be improved,” says Ryan Corlett, APAC general manager of webexpenses.

According to the survey, office location (38%) is what Australians most love about their workplace, followed by flexible working hours (36%) and a modern working environment (36%).

Lack of space (20%) and outdated IT systems (17%) are what they don’t like.