Out-of-touch Australian managers are driving employees out of their jobs

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  • Gartner says out-of-touch managers are driving disengagement in Australia.
  • Q3 2018 Global Talent Monitor report shows manager quality is now a top three reason why Australians leave their jobs.
  • And an organisation’s reputation for how it manages its employees is now the number one reason they go.

Australians say the quality, or lack of expertise, of their manager is a top three reason why they leave their job, according to the latest research from Gartner.

Gartner’s Q3 2018 Global Talent Monitor report shows the issue of manager quality rose three places from last quarter to become a key driver of attrition for Australian employees.

People management and an organisation’s reputation for how it manages its employees is now the number one reason to leave one job for another, followed by future career opportunity and then manager quality.

The results of the Talent Monitor:


Gartner says management practices must evolve as Australian organisations embrace technology and new working styles.

“For years the traditional manager model provided ongoing, consistent employee coaching and development,” says Aaron McEwan, HR advisory leader at Gartner.

“However, as technology and innovation impact job requirements, organisations need managers who can provide employees with the tools, knowledge and connections to succeed in the midst of change.

“During the last 12 months, Australian employees have consistently cited a lack of future career opportunities and development as a key reason to leave their job. It’s clear that employees have become frustrated with managers who fail to support their professional goals and aspirations.”

A knock-on effect of poor manager quality is employee engagement. Gartner’s data shows that high discretionary effort levels stalled at 17% in the third quarter of 2018.

“For employees it’s a catch 22,” says McEwan.

“They’re unfulfilled with their current roles, but the last three months of the year are a notoriously slow period for hiring, making workers reluctant to seek new opportunities.

“There’s only one thing worse than employees walking out the door, and that’s having a work force that’s mentally checked out, but still showing up each day.”

According to Gartner research, the manager best positioned to improve performance in the current work environment is someone called a “connector”.

“A Connector Manager links employees to the right people and resources at the right time to get the job done,” says McEwan.

This type of manager can improve employee performance by up to 26% and increase employee engagement by up to 40%.

Just one in four managers demonstrate the connector leadership attributes organisations need.

“Connector Managers proactively unite employees to an organisation’s culture, engagement and leadership team, addressing the current concerns that could see valued team members look for employment opportunities elsewhere,” says McEwan.

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