Restless Aussies in search of good leader

Leadership in the job

A good leader is more important to Australians than workers in 17 different places around the globe according to new research.

Employer loyalty has dropped since the GFC particularly in Australia where workers rate respect as a major benefit they look for at work.

Self preservation is the name of the game since the GFC with a new survey showing employee loyalty is under threat the world over.

According to a survey carried out by Mercer’s amongst nearly 30,000 employees in 17 geographic locations job hopping plans are at an all time high.

The What’s Working™ survey was conducted mid-year to find a serious erosion of employee loyalty particularly in Australia where 28 per cent of people are considering finding a new job but more than half of those aged 25 to 34 are already mentally job shopping. The results among young people prove a particular puzzle for employers as 72 per cent also claimed to be satisfied with their current employer.  

Overall, 16 per cent of employees in India and 15 per cent in China are considering changing jobs.

Mercer’s Human Capital Business Leader for Australia and New Zealand Rob Bebbington says changes to employment conditions globally were triggering a rethink amongst employees about what they give to an organisation versus what they get in return.

The survey revealed an overall shift in views on workforce issues that impact employee engagement. Attitudes to pay and performance have improved while views on employee benefits declined. Views on career opportunity and leadership differed by market.

Employee motivation

In Australia, 84 per cent of those surveyed say benefits are important to them but only 47 per cent view current benefits as satisfactory. Globally, employees rate being treated with respect as the benefit they value most at work followed by work/life balance and the type of work they perform.

Employees in Australia rank the importance of quality leadership higher than all other countries in the Asia Pacific, but place long term career potential as the lowest factor in motivation.  

Base pay ranks highest as an important financial benefit when measured against 13 different financial factors. Only 51 percent of those surveyed in Australia are satisfied with their base pay and women place even greater importance on their pay as a reward element, compared to men.


Asia Pacific
Results for this region are less consistent by market compared to the Americas and Europe. In Australia, employees rate ‘being treated with respect’ and ‘quality of leadership’ as their top two motivating factors, and view incentive pay as the least important. Base pay was rated as the top factor in Hong Kong and among the top three factors in China, India and Singapore. This was not seen anywhere else but Italy.

North & South America

In addition to the global top five nonfinancial factors – respect, work/life balance, type of work, quality of co-workers and quality of leadership – working in an environment where employees can provide good service to others ranks highly in importance in North and South America. Base pay ranks as the most influential financial factor.

In the US, the importance of financial and nonfinancial factors closely mirrors the global findings. Two areas of note that scored higher than the global average were benefits and working in an environment where you can provide good service to others. Areas below the global average for US employees included learning and development opportunities, promotion opportunities and incentive pay/bonus.


Results for the seven European countries included in Mercer’s survey show striking consistency. Nonfinancial factors (being treated with respect, work/life balance, type of work and quality of co-workers) are considered most important to employee motivation and engagement at work., November 2, 2011.

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