Warning bells ring for employers as staff turnover rises

Employers of all size are being put on notice for staffing struggles as a new survey reveals voluntary staff turnover has risen in 32 per cent of organisations in Australia over the past year.

Based on findings in the 2017 Hays Salary Guide, just 15 per cent of the 2,950 organisations surveyed – representing 3,021,984 employees – reported decreased staff turnover during the past 12 months. The remaining 53 per cent said turnover had stayed the same.

Managing director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand Nick Deligiannis said the findings show the job market can deliver “career-advancing” opportunities.

“Job seekers are aware that employers are adding to their permanent headcount now and are using temporary or contract resources to support their team,” Mr Deligiannis said.

“As a result, they know that demand is rising for highly-skilled professionals.”

The Hays Salary Guide reveals that business activity increased for 70 per cent of employers in the past 12 months, and three-quarters (75 per cent) expect it to increase in the next 12 months.

Staff levels are set to rise too, with 45 per cent of employers expecting to increase permanent staff levels, exceeding the 11 per cent who say they will decrease.

Sixty-five per cent of employers will give their staff a sub-3 per cent pay rise in their next review, while 11 per cent will not increase salaries at all.

“With sedate salary increases on offer for many skilled professionals, loyalty is being tested and turnover is rising as employees leave for a role offering better career advancement, salary, benefits or work/life balance,” Mr Deligiannis said.

The year ahead

When thinking about their career in the year ahead, 60 per cent of employees surveyed said being able to work flexibly was most important, while 60 per cent also said a pay rise is important.

As many as 54 per cent want more challenging or exciting work, 53 per cent want support from their boss and 47 per cent want to learn additional digital skills.

“Clearly, career progression, ongoing learning and development – particularly in digital skills – and challenging or exciting work are key to successful staff retention in the year ahead,” Mr Deligiannis said.

“While not every workplace or role suits flexible working, for those that do, it’s also an important retention tool.”

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