More Than Half Of Australian Workers Will Quit Within 5 Years -- Here's How Deloitte Says You Can Keep Them

Home laptop: Shutterstock

Australian businesses are facing a war for talent and a more modern approach to devices, working from home and social media may give them an edge, Deloitte says.

While unemployment figures hover around 5.5%, two reports released this week warned of a national shortage of skilled workers.

Management consultancy Hay Group said 58% of Australians planned to leave their current jobs within 5 years, based on a global study of 700 million employees in 19 countries.

A separate report from Deloitte, commissioned by Google, found that only 65% of workers expected to stay with their employer for 12 months, with 15% expecting to move jobs and 20% unsure.

Deloitte put the cost of replacing each skilled employee at $41,250 – a “conservative figure”, it said, as costs could be up to 150% of an employee’s annual salary, and the average annual salary was estimated to be $55,000.

According to Deloitte:

“There are many causes of voluntary employee turnover. Many employees seek better work conditions or just a change; around 32% of employees left their previous jobs for these reasons.

Around one quarter of people left their previous job because of family reasons. More than one in five employees left because of unsatisfactory working conditions.

The main costs of employee turnover include recruitment, training and lost productivity in early stages of employment. The net costs exclude the savings of not paying salary while the job is vacant.”

Deloite surveyed 526 skilled Australian workers – a group it defined as those “who would use IT as part of their work” and accounted for 80 to 85% of the Australian workforce – to test its hypothesis that “flexibility is a useful part of recruitment and retention”.

Partner Ric Simes said “up to 83%” employees who were allowed to telework, use social media, use their own computers and smartphones at work or vice versa felt satisfied at work, compared to only 62% of those without that flexibility.

Report authors acknowledged that the demand for flexible working tended to come from Gen Y workers, but said the oldest of that cohort would now be in their 30s and rising into managerial positions.

41% of survey respondents said they had access to better technology at home than at work.

“For every 100 people retiring over he next 5 years, there are less than 125 people exiting education. This is the lowest ratio in Australia’s history and it’s stalling business innovation,” Simes said.

Deloitte highlighted the following as significant considerations for employees looking to jump ship:

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