Recruitment agency Hays says staff turnover increased for over half (58%) of employers during the last financial year, just after the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed 1.3 million Aussies moved jobs during that time. In addition, over half of Australians have been at their current workplace for less than five years while one in ten have been with the same company for over 20. Looking specifically at EAs and related roles, job mobility rose from 7% to 10.3%.
Mandy Oliver, HR and financial controller manager at Brooks Australia – a Sydney-based company that is bucking the trend with the average worker being employed for more than nine years – says: “It’s important for HR professionals to understand the reasons behind this trend and take steps to retain their administrative workforce, including creating a positive work environment, and providing opportunities for career growth and development.”
Meanwhile, Chantelle Gauci, EA at Brooks Australia, says: “While some job hopping may occur in our industry, I believe that the majority of EAs are in it for the long run and are dedicated to building a successful and fulfilling career with their employer.”
Regardless, the statistics – and the associated costs of high turnover (businesses spend approximately 1.5 times their annual salary on finding a replacement whilst being impacted by a loss of knowledge, skills and productivity, according to the Australian HR Institute) – suggest retention needs a renewed focus, something an EA could push up the agenda, perhaps?
Cathy Brand, CEO of Brooks Australia, says it begins with getting things right from the outset: “Stay connected, actively listen, engage with employees and understand their perspectives. Today’s workforce has developed new attitudes. There is a big emphasis on how work fits into their lives including family time, autonomy in their roles and flexibility in where they work.”