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Australians Most Likely To Leave

August 31 2010 - Australian workers are more likely to change employers over the next 12 months compared to staff in 16 other countries, according to research by employee engagement consultants Infogroup/ORC.

Based on responses from 9300 employees worldwide, the study found that 57 per cent are engaged with their current organizations, with Australia placed 7th , narrowly behind the United States and Germany.

The report by Phil Pringle of Infogroup/ORC found that Australian organizations were more affected by a lack of employee commitment to stay in the medium to long-term than by a current unwillingness to contribute or perceptions of their organization as a bad place to work.

For responses to the statement: "I intend to be working for my organization in 12 months time", Australia scored 8 percentage points below the global norm and 16 percentage points below Germany, 14 percentage points below Russia, and 10 percentage points below Switzerland. For responses to the statement "It would take a lot to get me to leave my organization", Australia scored 6 percentage points below the global norm.

The study found that lack of commitment to stay with their current organization did not reflect poor HR practice and that Australia compared favourably in this respect with nations such as China, the UK, Spain, Singapore, Italy, Hong Kong and Japan. Responses to four statements scored at least 10 percentage points above the global norm:

  • "I believe my organization is an equal opportunity employer"
  • "There are policies/practices in place to support me if I experience stress or pressure"
  • "Health and safety is taken seriously in my organization"
  • "I am satisfied with the training I receive for my present job"

The study concluded that lack of commitment to stay was associated with interlinked themes of line manager capability and career progression. Over a third of Australian respondents were neutral when asked whether their line manager inspired them to work more effectively. A quarter actively disagreed with the statement "I receive regular and constructive feedback on my performance". In addition, 60 per cent responded neutrally or negatively to the statement "Opportunities for career advancement at my organization are based on merit". One third were neutral, and nearly a quarter (23 per cent) were negative towards the statement "I am satisfied with the opportunities I have to get a better job in this organization". The report suggests that as global competition for talent continues to increase, the onus is on line manager capability to recognise potential and engage employees in the long-term to enhance organizational success.

Wendy McInnes, director of employee research for Asia Pacific, commented:

"The story the data is telling is not surprising. Time and again we hear staff leave their managers, rather than their organization. Infogroup Perspectives has identified that Australian employees want to deliver value for their employers. However if managers canít nurture, develop and recognise their employees' talent, they will look elsewhere; no matter what positive feeling they have towards the organization".

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