Australian Employees Are Looking for Stability in 2024

February 19, 2024 thehrobserver-australian-employees-are-looking-for-stability-in-2024

Gartner’s Global Talent Monitor survey data shows that Australian employees’ intent to stay with their employer increased to 37.8% from 35.4% in 3Q23.

The data that was collected between October and December 2023, has been published recently. It shows that while the overall business confidence increased for the first time in 2023 to reach 43.1%, discretionary effort declined from 17.5% to 16.5%. 

“Employees experienced a multitude of enterprise changes last year, including return to work mandates and technology disruptions,” said Neal Woolrich, Director, HR Advisory in the Gartner HR practice.

“Change fatigue, combined with the rising cost of living and a softening labor market in Australia has many employees taking a cautious approach to their next career move,” explains Woolrich.

Gartner’s Q4’23 survey data reflects the growing need for constancy this year, with stability entering the top 10 drivers of attraction for Australian employees, they explained.

The survey shows that while engagement levels remained steady in 2023, less than one-quarter (24.3%) of Australian employees consider themselves to be ‘highly’ engaged. Most (73.9%) state they are only ‘somewhat’ engaged.

“Organisations need to be aware that traditional retention strategies won’t work in the current environment,” said Woolrich. “Leaders need to balance pay discussions with effective non-compensation EVP components, such as respect, manager quality and career progression to retain employees.”

Woolrich explains further that, “Employers also need to think about the whole person, not just the employee, as they customize their EVP. It’s essential to understand what employees need and want from their role. An agile approach that provides a rich portfolio of experiences, support and opportunities will be key to maximising productivity and engagement.” 

According to a Gartner survey, which includes over 6,000 employees across 40 countries (including 854 employees in Australia in the 4Q23 edition), fatigue can be alleviated through two-way dialogue among leaders and employees. 

Gartner noted that this dialogue “significantly increases change success” and psychological safety. Therefore, when managers allocate resources and goals effectively to accommodate change, they are more likely to maintain workforce health through disruption.

“Employers must prioritise their relationships with employees to foster strong psychological safety and trust,” said Woolrich. “When employees understand that there is room to try, fail, reset and try again, they will soon start to thrive in an environment of change.”

Gartner’s research shows that “change fatigue” refers not only to the number of changes an employee experiences, but also to the new projects, tasks or processes that lead to a loss of trust, poor well-being and a sense of purpose if there is a lack of communication from management.

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