Australians are unhappy and looking for new jobs

Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images

Businesses are concerned that unhappy staff are leaving for better jobs, according to analysis by the Australian Institute of Management (AIM).

The latest research, within AIM’s 2016 Staff Retention Report, shows that more than half (54.6%) of businesses across Australia are worried about retaining good staff, up from 48.8% in 2015.

Professional services is the hot spot with a resignation rate of 15.3% — about 50% higher than the average of 10.3%.

“People don’t leave companies; they leave leaders,” says David Pich, AIM’s chief executive.

“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. So, it is vital our experiences in the workplace are positive as they impact on our overall well-being and on society as a whole.”

AIM’s National Salary Survey released earlier this year dug into the reasons employees are unhappy in their current roles.

More than four out of five (81.9%) said they wanted new challenges, more than half (56.5%) citing limited career advancement opportunities and 44.4% were looking for better pay.

The impact of staff turnover includes increased stress, reduced staff morale and loss of corporate intelligence.

Other effects include reduced customer service, satisfaction and productivity. Then there’s the cost of recruiting and training new staff.

Pich says retaining staff is no easy feat.

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

“To motivate and engage staff, managers and leaders need to understand the motivations of their employees and implement strong tactics to keep valuable team members.”

The most significant decrease in resignation rates in 2016 was recorded in the wholesale and machinery/auto industry sectors, falling to 10.6% from 13.9%.

When broken down by turnover, the most significant decrease in 2016 resignation rates was among companies with an annual turnover of over $200 million, falling to 11.3% in 2016 from 13.7%.

But organisations with an annual turnover of $5 million to $10 million had the highest resignation rates overall at 12.6%.

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