The great resignation

Globally, employees tried hard to hold onto their jobs during the pandemic, gritting their teeth in some cases because a job was a job, no matter how disliked.

This is changing.

Data from a range of sources shows employees are now, or intend to be, on the move. And with Australia’s skilled migrant intake likely to be constrained for another two years, this presents employers with challenges trying to keep a lid on costs (see Reserve bank Governor Philip Lowe’s speech HERE).

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics records the number of people who quit their job has reached the highest point since the series begun to be recorded in 2000 (see HERE).

A Microsoft study of 30,000 employees over 31 countries found over 40% were considering leaving their employer this year (see HERE).

A Hays survey of almost 4,000 Australian and New Zealand employees found 38% of employees planned to look for a job in the next twelve months (see HERE).

Meanwhile, 47% of employers surveyed responded that they intended to increase headcount.

It is not surprising, therefore, that 67% of employers intend to increase salaries at the next review, although probably not enough to stem the interest of employees seeking greener pastures.

Given employees tend to negotiate for salary rises when they leave jobs, it would appear that the next two years might see higher benchmark wages and every employee kept is a saving in terms of productivity and cost.

Those whose plans encourage retention will be one step ahead of everyone else.

  • Are awards paid immediately, or is there rolling vesting of earned incentives?
  • Are employees paid in company shares, creating an ownership culture employees won’t want to leave?
  • Is your leaver policy clear?
  • Do you know what your employees value?
  • Are there other benefits employees would accept in lieu of a large increase?
  • Are your incentive targets achievable?
  • Do you understand when it is appropriate and effective to pay a “retention” award and how much it should be?
© Guerdon Associates 2024
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