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Stress is the leading cause of discomfort at work according to almost half of Aussie employees, new research shows

Software Advice Australia 3 mins read
Surveyed employees seek recognition and acknowledgement: Are Australian SMEs prepared?

[For immediate release]

AUSTRALIA --- 8 November 2023

Software Advice, the leading software comparison website for small businesses, revealed the results of its latest survey, providing insights for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) about employee job satisfaction, comfort/discomfort at the workplace, and the job-switching situation.

The study, comprising responses from almost 1,000 Australian employees, found that 50% have changed jobs 1-2 times in the past five years, compared to 38% who said ‘never’. When employees who changed jobs three or more times in the past five years were asked how interviewers have reacted to this, 48% felt ‘it didn’t have any impact on the interviewer’, and 28% mentioned that ‘the interviewer liked or valued their frequent job changes’.

The data shows it may be necessary to understand employees’ expectations when they join the company. Respondents moved jobs frequently in the last five years because they got better work flexibility (48%), received a higher salary (44%), and changed work environments (36%).

Not only does job satisfaction result in employee engagement, it can also help improve productivity. A combined total of 66% indicated their satisfaction with their current job. Of these, 47% reported being ‘satisfied’ while 19% chose the ‘very satisfied’ option. 51% of survey participants plan to leave their jobs, with answers ranging from ‘as soon as possible’ to ‘not having a definite timeline at the moment’. In contrast, 42% said they aren’t planning to do so.

Regarding respondents’ top three factors behind whether to leave or stay with their current company, reasons to remain included a ‘good work environment’ (49%), a ‘work-life balance’ (47%) and feeling ‘that their work is fulfilling and meaningful’ (44%). Regarding reasons for leaving, 34% think their salary does not meet their expectations, 32% would go because of high stress levels, and 29% need a career change.

In addition, SMEs should be aware that factors that can make employees change their minds and leave their current company include a ‘higher salary’ (58%), ‘higher position’ (27%) and ‘better work flexibility’ (26%).

46% of employees consider stress a leading cause of discomfort at work. On the contrary, the two primary factors contributing to a comfortable workspace were ‘maintaining a healthy work-life balance’ (48%) and ‘healthy relationships with co-workers’ (48%). Some other factors that led to respondents’ discomfort were ‘high-stress levels’ (46%) and a ‘lack of trust and unhealthy relationships with management (34%). 

Over half (51%) of employees want recognition and work acknowledgement from their managers, and 48% believe a manager should maintain a positive and collaborative work environment. 43% think managers should provide helpful and constructive feedback and foster efficient communication, and 38% feel they should possess strong soft skills and a human approach, supporting the individual and not just the job.

Lastly, the survey found that the top priority for SMEs to focus on in the next two years include adding more benefits (26%), creating programs for upskilling or reskilling (23%), more remote work flexibility (19%), diversity and inclusion (11%) and internal mobility including career progressions (11%).

Ojasvini, Content Analyst at Software Advice, says: "Our survey results reveal a significant shift in employment loyalty among Australian employees. With half of the survey participants having changed jobs in the past five years, it is clear that job hopping is becoming more common, suggesting that they are prioritising personal growth and satisfaction.

“Our findings shed light on the factors influencing employees' decisions to stay or leave their current company, and a positive work environment, work-life balance, and a sense of fulfilment are key factors in retaining employees. On the other hand, SMEs should be aware that inadequate salary, stress levels, and the need for a career change are common reasons they seek new opportunities."

To read the full article from Software Advice Australia, visit:

https://www.softwareadvice.com.au/blog/4302/retention-tips-Australian-SMEs

Survey Methodology
To gather data for this report, Software Advice conducted an online survey of 994 people during July 2023. The selection criteria for the participants are mentioned below:

  • Australian residents aged between 18 and 65 years
  • Those who are either employed full-time or part-time in a small or medium-sized business (with a minimum of 2 and maximum of 250 employees)
  • Who reports to a direct manager
  • Does not hold an owner or intern position

Key Facts:
About us:

About Software Advice:

Software Advice helps businesses navigate the software buying journey, guiding people through the selection process and providing personalised software recommendations. Founded in 2005, Software Advice has helped nearly 850,000 businesses find the right software for their specific needs through objective research and actionable insights. Software Advice also features over 1,000,000 verified user reviews to ensure people feel confident in their technology decisions. For more information, visit softwareadvice.com.au.


Contact details:

Garry Steel

Marketing Specialist

garry.steel@gartner.com

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