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SYDNEY, Australia, December 6, 2018

Gartner Says Out-of-Touch Managers Are Driving Disengagement in Australia

Manager quality is now ranked among the top three reasons Australians will leave their job, according to new research from Gartner, Inc.

Data from Gartner’s 3Q18 Global Talent Monitor report reveals that manager quality rose three places from last quarter to become a key driver of attrition for Australian employees. At the same time, people management – an organization’s reputation for how it manages its employees – is now the number one reason employees choose to leave one job for another, followed by future career opportunity and manager quality.

Manager crisis

Gartner warns that management practices must evolve as Australian organizations embrace technology and new working styles.

“For years the traditional manager model provided ongoing, consistent employee coaching and development. However, as technology and innovation impact job requirements, organizations need managers who can provide employees with the tools, knowledge and connections to succeed in the midst of change,” said Aaron McEwan, HR advisory leader at Gartner.

“During the last 12 months, Australian employees have consistently cited a lack of future career opportunities and development as a key reason to leave their job. It’s clear that employees have become frustrated with managers who fail to support their professional goals and aspirations,” said Mr. McEwan.

Discretionary effort stalls

Another knock-on effect of poor manager quality is employee engagement. Gartner’s data shows that high discretionary effort levels stalled at 17 percent in the third quarter of 2018.

“For employees it’s a catch 22. They’re unfulfilled with their current roles, but the last three months of the year are a notoriously slow period for hiring, making workers reluctant to seek new opportunities. There’s only one thing worse than employees walking out the door, and that’s having a workforce that’s mentally checked out, but still showing up each day,” said Mr. McEwan.

According to Mr. McEwan, to win back employees who are disenchanted and dissatisfied, organizations need to seek out ambitious, high-performing managers who can develop employee skills and unite talent from within and outside of the business to deliver results.

Connector managers needed

According to Gartner research, the manager best positioned to improve performance in the current work environment is the “Connector Manager.”

“A Connector Manager links employees to the right people and resources at the right time to get the job done,” said Mr. McEwan.

Gartner data reveals that this type of manager can improve employee performance by up to 26 percent and increase employee engagement by up to 40 percent.

Just one in four managers demonstrate the connector leadership attributes organizations need. However, Mr. McEwan said that while these managers may be rare, they are not impossible to find. Gartner recommends HR leaders develop Connector Managers by finding those managers who:

  • Take an active role to ensure high-quality development connections rather than just delegating development responsibilities
  • Invest time to diagnose and understand individual employee needs
  • Help employees get more value from their development connections by focusing on quality not quantity
  • Create an environment of transparency and trust within their teams and recognize peer coaching and development

“Connector Managers proactively unite employees to an organization’s culture, engagement and leadership team, addressing the current concerns that could see valued team members look for employment opportunities elsewhere,” said Mr. McEwan.

Highlights From the 3Q18 Global Talent Monitor

Talent Monitor

Australian

International average

High Intent to Stay

38.6%

30.1%

High Discretionary Effort

17%

14%

Job Opportunities

48.4%

51.20%

Drivers of Attraction

  1. Work-Life Balance
  2. Location
  3. Stability
  1. Compensation
  2. Work-Life Balance
  3. Stability

Drivers of Attrition

  1. People Management
  2. Future Career Opportunity
  3. Manager Quality
  1. Future Career Opportunity
  2. Compensation
  3. People Management

Source: Gartner (November 2018)

Global Talent Monitor data is drawn from the larger Gartner Global Labor Market Survey that is made up of more than 22,000 employees in 40 countries, including 1,044 in Australia. The survey is conducted quarterly and is reflective of market conditions during the quarter preceding publication.

About Gartner for HR Leaders

Gartner for HR Leaders brings together the best, relevant content approaches across Gartner to offer individual decision makers strategic business advice on the mission-critical priorities that cut across the HR function. Additional information is available at www.gartner.com/en/human-resources/human-resources-leaders.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT), is the world’s leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities today and build the successful organizations of tomorrow.

Our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We are a trusted advisor and objective resource for more than 15,000 organizations in more than 100 countries — across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.

To learn more about how we help decision makers fuel the future of business, visit gartner.com.

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