Australia’s Great Resignation. Yes, you heard right. Aussies are resigning in droves

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Is 2021 the year to quit? Between lockdown burnout, a slowing pace for promotions and pay rises and government benefits nearly equalling weekly full-time wages, many analysts are predicting that ‘the great resignation’ is coming to Australia.

Several signs are pointing to a mass redirection of the employment market. About one in four Aussies are job hunting, according to a Gartner survey of more than 1,500 Australians. Hays’ 2021 salary guide puts this number even higher: nearly 40 per cent of Australians are seeking a different job this financial year! That’s a lot of people!

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The main reason behind this shift is due to lack of promotion opportunities, followed by non-competitive salaries, and poor management style or toxic workplace cultures.

Gartner research and advisory vice president Aaron McEwan spoke to Yahoo Finance about this issue: “This ‘mass exodus of workers is a trend happening everywhere around the world, not just Australia. It’s an issue occurring across the globe,” McEwan told Yahoo Finance.

The research firm discovered that a whopping 83 per cent of organisations are detecting signs of higher turnover.

Let’s move back to Australia.

The enthusiasm of Aussies to go ‘above and beyond for their employers is simply not happening anymore. Their intentions to stay in current roles are also waning.

According to Hays Australia managing director Nick Deligiannis, “There are signs that there could be a ‘Great Resignation’ in Australia soon, too. The pandemic has been a rude intrusion to many Australians’ career plans. They have put their career plans on hold to help their organisation through the crisis and recover. Now, they are focused on their career again and are prioritising advancement. But while career progression is valued, just 16 per cent of employees expect to receive a promotion in the next 12 months.” he told Yahoo Finance.

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The important issue of mental health.

In a new report, Atlassian research found that 69 per cent of us would actually turn down a promotion if it meant compromising our mental health. Never before in human history are we so concerned with our health and wellbeing, and the pandemic has brought this to light. People are prioritising their mental health more than ever before, even more than access to healthcare or the increased cost of living.

McEwan commented on this: “Australian workers have spent the last 12 to 18 months reflecting on what is important to them, and considering fundamental changes to both their personal and professional lives. This radical reset has created an issue for organisations as employees demand change from their employer, or seek that change elsewhere. Workers are reaching a tipping point facing burnout and confessing feelings of exhaustion and stress as they struggle to actively carry out their job effectively after such a high-intensity year.”

And he’s spot on!

As a result, bosses that don’t emphasise care for employees’ mental health shouldn’t expect loyalty in return.

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Flexibility is an expectation, not a privilege.

Nowadays, it is rare to find an office-based worker who’ll agree to work from the office for all five days of the week.

The normalisation of remote work will forever be COVID-19’s greatest legacy. The convenience and choice of working from home, which was once a privilege, is now demanded by most office-based employees.

Recruitment firm Robert Half director Nicole Gorton explains it like this: “Australian workers have had cause to reflect on their current careers, particularly around issues such as whether their employer can offer the flexibility or other benefits they’re looking for. Now, for the first time, there are alternatives.”

She continued, “Recruitment managers have been making small, but noteworthy changes in job advertisements to reflect the new shift.

You’ll start to see lots of words around ‘flexibility’, ‘ability to work remotely’ and ‘remote’ on job advertisements.

Here’s to working in the Bahamas with a Rose in your hand while you attend a virtual conference call!

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