Survey Shows Purpose and Pay are Growing Priorities for Australian Employees

In BICSI Blog, BICSI Bytes, Featured, News by

According to the latest Gartner Global Talent Monitor, compensation increases and the desire for better alignment between personal interests and job responsibilities have risen on the list of factors Australian workers consider in a new employer.

Survey data collected by Gartner in Q2 2021 found that 22.5% of Australian employees surveyed actively looked for a new job; while 53.2% of them engaged in passive job seeking during that period. Notably, 56.2% reported work-life balance as a top-five reason to consider a new employer. It also ranked third on the list of motivators to leave their current employer.

However, pay is creeping back up the priority list, with the data showing compensation leapt back into the top-three reasons to change jobs, up from ninth place from year-over-year.

Employees are also more likely to consider whether the job responsibilities match their personal interests. ‘Job-interests alignment’ rose two places to eighth in the list of reasons an employee would take a new role. Before COVID, it didn’t even appear in the top-10 reasons for potential candidates to join a new organisation.

Aussie employees in the driver’s seat

“After the chaos of the last 18 months, Australians have been reflecting on what’s important to them and making fundamental changes to both their personal and professional lives,” said Aaron McEwan, vice-president in Gartner’s HR practice. “Employees are in a better position than ever to be seeking more satisfaction in their employment arrangement.”

This radical reset has created challenges for organisations as employees demand change or decide to seek it elsewhere. Closed borders also mean shorter supply and greater competition for talent.

The survey found that those who are staying in their roles are less likely to go above and beyond for their employer. Employees reporting high levels of discretionary effort in Australia, traditionally higher than the global average, fell a further 0.4% since Q1 2021 to just 15.6%.

A way forward for employers

Gartner’s research presented organisations with a path forward as most attraction and attrition drivers revolve around management and workplace practices.

“Employers have a clear mandate: evolve the employee experience to avoid paying a premium for new talent,” McEwan said. “Australians are seeing positive indicators within the job market; organisations that do not evolve risk mass resignations and an exodus of talent.

“The most effective way to address retention issues is by taking a more holistic – or ‘human-centric’ – approach to the employee value proposition. We know that organisations who make these organisational and cultural changes are more likely to not only retain and attract staff, but have a more productive and happier workforce too.”

Talent Monitor Australia Global Average
Business Confidence Index 56.7% 51.7%
Job Opportunity Barometer 53.7% 53.5%
Active Job Seeking 22.5% 19.1%
Discretionary Effort 15.6% 15.8%
Drivers of Attraction 1.    Work-Life Balance

2.     Location

3.     Compensation

1.     Compensation

2.     Work-Life Balance

3.     Location

Drivers of Attrition 1.     Manager Quality

2.     People Management

3.     Work-Life Balance

1.     Compensation

2.     Manager Quality

3.     Work-Life Balance


Data is drawn from Gartner’s Global Labor Market Survey that surveys more than 18,000 employees in 40 countries each quarter, including 850 in Australia in Q2 2021.