Employers must address problems if they want to retain talented staff.
Human resources teams will be kept busy this year as almost half of the Kiwi workforce look for a new job and employers will feel the bite as New Zealand moves towards a talent shortage.
Paul Robinson, director of recruitment and HR specialist Randstad New Zealand, says his company's latest World of Work Report reveals that 49 per cent of New Zealand workers will consider a job change and the results highlight the need for employers to invest in their workforce as talent resources get tighter and people look for greener pastures.
"With business conditions improving, workers in many industries are feeling more confident they will receive an increase in salary, growth or promotion." Robinson says this is good news for employees but also means that for employers these expectations will need to be addressed. Organisations will need to concentrate on how to maintain a motivated and satisfied workforce and how to retain them, while also being successful in attracting the best talent.
The survey shows that most of those people looking to leave their jobs (63 per cent) will do so to advance their career, a figure higher than the motivation of earning more money or benefits (45 per cent). Robinson says this proves once again that New Zealanders are looking for more than dollars. "For more than half of New Zealand employees, flexible working options are one of the top three most important benefits. Training and development opportunities, and being rewarded and recognised for strong performance are also important to Kiwi workers."
New Zealanders did relatively well in the salary stakes last year, with 46 per cent receiving an increase. Australians had the lowest wage growth of any country in the Asia-Pacific region, with one in five experiencing a drop in wages. In New Zealand and Australia 38 per cent received no increase. Robinson says that to retain talented employees it is important to adequately reward and recognise their staff - especially high performers - as conditions improve. "This is even more important if employees took a pay cut or accepted a salary freeze while conditions were tough."
More than half of New Zealand employees rate their employer's commitment to developing their skills as average or poor, and Robinson says it would appear that New Zealand employers can make improvements in the area of career progression opportunities. "Therefore, this year should be about ensuring that employee benefits, which include opportunities for training and development, are widely communicated and that business leaders encourage their staff to participate in valuable projects and programmes.
"With employees feeling valued and supported in their growth and development, organisations will find it leading to better staff engagement and job satisfaction which will translate into stronger results."
He says though that people are not always looking for a step up. "Many are simply looking for an opportunity to be challenged, or to work on a project or area that will expand their skills, knowledge and experience.
"Maintain regular and open communication to keep people well informed, highly engaged, and presented with opportunities to reward and recognise strong performance."
It's not all bad news for employers though. Two thirds of workers say they would recommend their workplace to a friend, and 51 per cent say they are happy in their work and intend to stay. Of this group, half say a good work-life balance is the leading factor tying them to their present role, while being well-matched to the job and a strong opportunity for growth and advancement also rate highly.
What employees want
• Career advancement.
• Flexible working options.
• Training and development opportunities.
• Challenge and engagement.
• Recognition and reward.