Retention Required

Robert Half on addressing retention.

Retention Required

Australia & New Zealand

Research from Robert Half has found Australian businesses experiencing an increase in staff turnover in the past three years. According to the research, independently commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half, one in seven (15 per cent), or roughly over 1.8 million Australian workers based on the number of employed persons in Australia, are likely to seek a new job this year.

Over two-thirds (67 per cent) of Australian employers say they have seen an increase in staff turnover – defined as employees freely resigning – in the past three years with the average turnover currently standing at 15 per cent. And despite the fact 96 per cent of Australian firms currently have in place measures to avoid staff turnover, more than half (57 per cent) of Australian’s managers say turnover within their organisation is expected to increase over the next 12 months – with 21 per cent believing churn will be “significantly higher”.  

When looking at the measures companies take to retain their employees, only half of organisations have employee appreciation (50 per cent) and wellness programs (47 per cent), whilst more than half don’t offer any training and development programs (53 per cent) and/or regularly review salaries (58 per cent). Organisations are also missing out on valuable insights from their departing employees, with almost nine in 10 (88 per cent) failing to undertake exit interviews.


Employee retention initiative

 per cent of Australian businesses

Employee appreciation initiatives

50 per cent

Employee wellness programs

47 per cent

Training and professional development programs

47 per cent

Regular salary reviews

42 per cent

Flexible and/or remote working opportunities

42 per cent

Employee engagement initiatives

32 per cent

Regular performance reviews/feedback

31 per cent

Clear communication of company purpose/goals

30 per cent

Exit interviews

12 per cent


Source: Independent survey commissioned by Robert Half among 460 hiring managers in Australia – multiple answers allowed.

Andrew Brushfield, Director of Robert Half Australia commented: “Staff turnover can cause significant setbacks for a business through not just lost productivity and revenue, but also low staff morale – highlighting companies need to not only secure a steady pipeline of skilled talent, but also make employee retention policies a crucial business priority.

“Employees are the backbone of any organisation,” he continued, “so it’s essential for employers to balance their staff engagement policy on both the acquisition and retention of top performing talent. While our research demonstrates that businesses do have strategies is place, increasing turnover rates suggest that these have not been effective in retaining employees”

Brushfield is adamant that a one-size-fits-all retention strategy will no longer be effective in today’s workplace. It is simply the case that employees in one business may be motivated to remain there when offered more annual leave entitlements, whereas in another business having a rigorous training program may be more motivating.

“Implementing tailored employee retention initiatives that incorporate both wellbeing programs, regular salaries reviews alongside clear career pathways help Australian businesses avoid high staff turnover,” concludes Brushfield. “Employees who are happy in their role and gain a higher sense of professional fulfilment tend to achieve better results, and are more likely to remain with the company for the long term.”



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