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New Zealand High On Job Changing Scale: Survey


17 September 2013

New Zealand High On Job Changing Scale: Survey

•        55% of New Zealand employees have changed jobs in the last year

•        Almost half not satisfied with new job

•        Kiwis looking for more training opportunities

New Zealand has been ranked fifth equal in a global survey of how likely employees were to have changed jobs in the last 12 months. 

The Kelly Global Workforce Index™ (KGWI), an international survey of more than 120,000 employees in 31 countries, including over 3,500 New Zealanders, examined the changing workplace and new models of engagement for businesses and their employees.

According to the survey, New Zealand has one of the highest levels of employee turnover of all the countries surveyed across Europe, Asia and the Americas, with 55% of employees reporting they have changed jobs in the last year. A further 30% have considered a new job, but have not made the move, while just 14% are not interested in changing employers.

New Zealand was ranked fifth-equal alongside Brazil and Luxembourg, after Australia (62%), France (61%), Portugal (58%) and Denmark (56%).

Growth and fulfilment ahead of pay

According to the survey, New Zealanders are looking for personal growth and opportunities for advancement (19%), as well as a better work/life balance (15%) over remuneration (11%) as the primary reason for changing employers.

Kelly Services® general manager – commercial Wendy Hewson says New Zealand employers need to be aware that their employees are among the world’s most mobile, and retaining them is not simply a matter of more pay.

“Our latest KGWI survey highlights that the New Zealand workplace has seen quite a high level of employee turnover in the last year,” says Wendy Hewson.

“In order to retain and engage their workforce, local employers need to be looking very closely at the mix of benefits and conditions they are providing in their business. This is particularly important as a resurgent economy begins to put more pressure on the job market and increase the competition for key skills.”

Employer of choice

Wendy Hewson says in order to understand what attracted employees to new employment opportunities, Kelly asked whether they would recommend their employer and why.

“More than a quarter of New Zealand employees are very likely to recommend their employers to a friend or colleague, while around 9% wouldn’t,” says Wendy Hewson.

“The reasons they would recommend their employer are extremely interesting – highlighting the areas any business needs to focus on in order to become an employer of choice.”

Most influential in terms of employees’ recommendations include company culture and reputation (30%), opportunities for advancement (19%), interesting or challenging work (18%), work/life balance (15%), and a flexible work schedule (9%).

“It’s telling that company culture and reputation features so strongly in employees’ recommendations, underscoring how important it is to focus on culture in order to attract and retain the best employees,” Wendy Hewson says.

Focus on management

A key part of that culture, according to Wendy Hewson, is the style of management within the company.

“61% of New Zealand employees say that their direct manager or supervisor has an impact on their level of satisfaction or engagement with their employer.”

In order to improve their level of engagement, local employees say their managers should focus on training opportunities (59%), clarifying responsibilities, goals and objectives (44%), and providing more transparency with communications (34%).

“It is sometimes said that employees don’t leave jobs, they leave managers,” says Wendy Hewson.

“While local employees are so unsettled, managers who focus on improving communication and providing more opportunities for personal development will have a better chance of maximising their investment in people and skills.”

Grass not always greener

Rather than make a rash move if the environment isn’t right, Wendy Hewson says that employees should consider a change of employers very carefully.

“Almost 45% of the employees we surveyed that had changed employers in the last year are happy in their new role,” says Karen Colfer.

“What they’ve found is that their new role isn’t really what they expected in terms of the opportunities and challenges it offers.”

According to the KGWI, the key reasons employees were unhappy in their new roles were the work isn’t as interesting or challenging as they had hoped (18%), the opportunities for personal development weren’t there (16%) and the job differed from what they expected (16%).

“Changing employers is a significant move – and one that should be made with careful planning, thorough research and the right advice. And with employees identifying communication as so important, it could be worth talking to their managers in their current role about what they need to stay – you may find that the best move is within your organisation.”

Complete findings are published in a new report, Paying for Performance. For more information about the Kelly Global Workforce Index and key regional and generational findings, please visit the Kelly® News Room or


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