Three in four Kiwis have eyes on the door

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Employee retention is a key focus for most HR professionals but it seems efforts may be falling short – if one recruitment company is to be believed.

A survey released today by Hudson New Zealand claims a huge 75 per cent of Kiwi workers are looking for a new job – up more than 20 per cent in just six months.

“To see this level of unrest is surprising and disappointing,” said Roman Rogers, regional general manager of Hudson New Zealand – the recruitment company behind the study.

The survey, which was completed by almost 1,400 employers and employees, found that 41 per cent of workers were actively seeking a new job while 34 per cent were looking passively.

 “[It] does surprise us … that the extent of engagement has dropped to where it has, particularly when organisations have been talking for a while now around the importance of communicating with their people and focusing on retention and keeping people engaged,” admitted Rogers.

The shocking revelation suggests the number of Kiwi workers discontented with their jobs is now at a ten-year high – a shift the study says has been spurred on by a lack of career progression and good old-fashioned boredom.

"The impact is significant because if you do start to lose people within your organisation there's a time it takes to find other people that can come in, get up to speed, and deliver to meet the requirements of the organisation,” warned Rogers.

“The other aspect too, and the hidden cost, is that if you have three out of four people in your workforce not currently engaged they are not focusing on the role you want them to perform for you right now - they're thinking about greener pastures so the impact on the quality, productivity and delivering to your customer base is significant,” he added.

According to Rogers, the steep 20 per cent jump in restless employees could be a sign that discontented workers had attempted to stick it out since Christmas.

"People take time over the holiday break to sit on the beach and reassess their career,” he said.

“If they're considering a move, they either pull the pin straight away or stick it out and see how things go,” he continued. “If they get to the half-year mark and nothing's changed, then they look to move on.”

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