With the New Year just around the corner, Australians nationwide will be looking for new job roles as soon as the clock hit January 1st. A new study commissioned by Citrus Group, a leading recruitment company specialising in sourcing exceptional talent for contact centres, has revealed that 22% of Australians left a previous role due to lack of career progression, signaling a clear area for bosses to work on to retain talent in 2019.

When asked what attracted them most to a workplace, the study revealed that salary came out on top, with 30% of Australians listing this at the most important factor when searching for a role. Next up was job flexibility (22%), followed by career progression (14%), culture (13%), the option to work from home (12%), incentives (5%), leadership (4%) and extra leave coming in lowest in the consideration set (2%), offering leaders and managers alike areas for improvement to retain staff.

When questioned, additional reasons provided by those surveyed as to why they departed a job were; no career progression (22%); no option to work from home (15%); low salary (14%); bad culture (13%); no job flexibility (9%) and finally, no job incentives (7%), highlighting the key areas that those in leadership positions should focus on to improve on in their own workplaces.

Joint Managing Director of Citrus Group, Paul Smith, who has over 30 years’ experience in the recruitment industry, providing solutions to increase customer satisfaction through effective training and management of contact centre personnel said, “It’s clear that Australians value Things such as career progression, job flexibility and workplace culture alongside salary, when looking for new roles, signaling clear areas for leaders to improve on in their own workplaces.

High staff turnover can be extremely costly for businesses, and so leaders should look to creating workplace environments that support staff retention.”

Here, Paul shares his tips on how recruit and retain great talent:

  1. Offer job flexibility to staff members: With 22% of Australians citing job flexibility as the most important factor in a workplace, and 12% stating the option to work from home even more important, clearly job flexibility needs to be a top priority for all managers. By allowing staff to work from home, implementing flexible working hours or job sharing, staff work-life balance will improve, in turn increasing productivity, job satisfaction and company success.
  2. Foster employee development: Our research showed that 14% of Australians felt that career progression and a clear career path was most attractive to them when choosing a workplace, signalling the need for great leaders to provide just that. By taking a keen interest in each staff members’ professional development and career goals and giving them clear guidelines, they will achieve these, great leaders can create teams that feel acknowledged and supported in their growth, which is key for a thriving team.
  3. Create an inclusive team environment: It goes without saying that for staff to enjoy a role, they need to feel part of a team. In fact, 13% of Australians cited bad culture as a top reason for leaving a previous role. As we know, culture comes from the top, thus managers are crucial to creating inclusive and supportive teams. Some ways of doing so are ensuring you hire people who fit in with your culture, having cultural ambassadors within your team, creating a positive environment, and encouraging social connections.
  4. Build trust: Employees need to be led by someone that they trust. As such, leaders must make sure to always be open and honest with all staff members, share company successes and losses (where appropriate), and ensure they always have their team member’s backs and best interests in mind. Employees that don’t have trust in their boss will in turn become unproductive, disengaged and disconnected.
  5. Offer fair pay to employees: With the largest number of Australians (30%) listing salary as most important to them when looking for a new job, it’s clear to see that fair pay is crucial to staff happiness. As a leader, it’s up to you to ensure all staff are paid fairly for the work they do, A and that they aren’t discriminated against in any way.

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For further information, or to request an interview with Paul Smith, please contact: Rachel Stevenson at or 02 9779 0999/ 0481 251 916

*Research was conducted and analysed by The Digital Edge Research Company. The data is based on analysis of over 1,000 Australians responses in September 2018. The ages used for this study were 18 – 57+ years old and consisted of a mix of both male and female respondents.