How Loyal Are Employees in Australia?

A new report by Ipsos suggested that employees are becoming more loyal. According to the study, the majority (55%) of the 1022 Australians surveyed last month indicated they would remain loyal even if they get offered a higher pay elsewhere.  A similar study by Kelly Services in March (sample size of 20,000) found that 44% percent of respondents are ‘totally committed’ to their current employer. image

The above two surveys are a departure from earlier studies on the same subject. SEEK’s Satisfaction & Motivation survey taken in September 2009 reported that 61% of the workforce are keeping their eyes open for new opportunities. Our own survey revealed that close to 77% of high-income earners are ready to leave their current employers if a better opportunity comes along. In our study, only 9% of senior executives declared loyalty to their current employer.

So, is loyalty increasing? Perhaps, pay conditions have improved and employees have more reasons to stay with their current employer. As unemployment rate dropped to 5.2% and the economy show signs of more recovery, it could well be that alarmed employers are on charm offensive and are having success with their retention strategies.

While the different surveys presented different employee sentiments, there’s no denying that a significant chunk of the workforce is always on the lookout for new opportunities. By default, 1 million Australians are perennially looking for the next gig. For those in permanent roles, the average work tenure is getting shorter. ABS reports that a majority 21% of the Australian workforce are in their current job for less than twelve months. Only 7% are in their current role for 10 or more years. The idea that an employee should commit to a particular employer is a mindset from a by-gone era. Changing social mores, work styles and attitudes to employment, and economic fluctuations will ensure that employee churn will be a permanent fixtures in most organisations.

Expecting and preparing in advance for workplace churn is the best way recruiters can help insulate the organisation against risks.

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