Our latest research2 has found that employees across Australia are feeling unsatisfied with the role of work in their lives and are considering looking for new opportunities. More than 2 in 5 (42 per cent) employees surveyed say they are likely to consider leaving their current organisation in the next 6-12months, with 1 in 5 (22 per cent), the equivalent of 2 million employees (when survey data is extrapolated to the general population), saying they’re very likely to do so.
Managers’ opinions appear to be divided on whether their employees are likely to leave, with 2 in 5 (39 per cent) managers surveyed saying their employees or direct reports are likely to consider leaving their current organisation in the next 6–12 months, and the same proportion (39 per cent) saying that their employees/direct reports are not likely to consider leaving in this period. This points to a core impact of The Workplace Wave – the need for greater staff engagement and connection to understand changing workplace issues.
This sense of employee empowerment and their willingness to change their employer highlights new concerns that organisations will be challenged to keep their staff engaged and retained. In our research, employees surveyed confirm they are most concerned about contracting COVID-19 or Long COVID (29 per cent), being unable to secure a promotion or pay rise (26 per cent), and high staff turnover (25 per cent) occurring in their teams over the next 6–12 months. Managers surveyed are aware of these issues, as their responses when asked to list their employees’ most significant concerns, mirrored those of their employees.
Employees’ satisfaction in their current role has been directly impacted by The Workplace Wave. Most commonly, employees surveyed say fatigue and burnout, including increased pressure on productivity and workload, or mental health issues (42 per cent), staff shortages due to low talent acquisition (34 per cent) and not being adequately rewarded at work (31 per cent), are negatively impacting their job satisfaction in their current role.
Concerningly, our research found that almost half (48 per cent) of employees surveyed, the equivalent of 4.5 million employees, agree that they often experience staff shortages due to absenteeism – a significant driver of The Workplace Wave. More concerning is that while managers surveyed acknowledge the negative impact of staff shortages due to low talent acquisition, on job satisfaction, it’s far more acknowledged as a factor by employees surveyed (34 per cent compared to 25 per cent), indicating that organisations need a deeper understanding of the pressures negatively impacting their employees.
With employees considering concepts like ‘the great resignation’, ‘the right to disconnect’, ‘loud leaving’ and ‘quiet quitting’, organisations are being challenged to become operational innovators to meet the changing expectations of their workforce.