34 percent of employees leave due to poor leadership: study finds

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 12:37
34 percent of employees leave due to poor leadership: study finds

The verdict is in: companies need to get much better at cultivating people leaders.

It’s as simple as this – keeping great staff is a challenge for many organisations. But does it come down to quality leadership, or is there more to it?

Firebrand Talent surveyed 1,225 working employees around Australia (NSW, VIC, WA, QLD, SA) for their Talent Ignition Report and asked about their job role, skill development, career development and progression.*

Top 3 employee concerns

No biscuits in the kitchen? Air conditioning too cold? Lack of paper towels? Not quite.

“In our study, we found that 30% of respondents said their major concerns were a lack of career progression, followed by 28% who felt their skills don’t have long term appeal, and 14% that said that skills sets needed are constantly changing and they can’t keep up,” says Becky English, Talent Agent at Firebrand Talent.

“Based on these numbers, it seems employees do want to stick around, but it has to be worth their while in the long run, too,” she continues.

The report also finds that in a broad sense, companies aren’t doing a fantastic job of fostering career conversations with their staff. 56% percent of those surveyed said they have not had any of these conversations with their manager, up from 50% since the 2016 survey.

But what makes talent leave?

It takes a lot for a concern to become an action and by extension, a decision to leave.  

34% of employees attributed their decision to leave the company with their manager/leadership, which is a sharp jump from Firebrand’s 2016 survey which found that 19% left their job for this reason.

That’s a 15% jump!

“Greater focus on quality leadership and ongoing professional development is key to improving employee engagement and retention,” says Matthew Cavalier, Managing Director at the Australian Institute of Management (AIM).

No, money won’t mend it

Yes, it’s true – throwing more money at the problem will not result in keeping or attracting talent. Firebrand Talent’s survey finds that remuneration is fourth on the list behind career progression, flexible working environment and an interesting/varied workload.

With the two biggest career obstacles being identified by respondents as lack of internal opportunities (31%) and lack of managerial support (21%).

“From these results, we can see development is needed on two fronts: for employees and management,” adds Cavalier.

That’s where AIM comes in.

AIM is the trusted career partner of Australian leaders and managers at every stage of their career journey.

As a preferred training provider to more than 500 Australian and International companies, our programs have been developed to deliver the vital knowledge and skills that Australian leaders and managers need for success. When it comes to providing practical and flexible professional development, our programs are based on real-world application.

Why wait? Keep your best talent and offer great leadership and management.

Browse through our suite of leadership and management courses.

*The areas surveyed in the study included:

  • Digital marketing search and analytics (10%)
  • PR social media and content (19%)
  • Agency account management and strategy (13%)
  • Digital and graphic design (16%)
  • Customer experience, user experience and service design (9%)
  • Digital development and production (11%)
  • Other (22%)