thirst for learning is why workers switch jobs


He also believed that the technology industry offers more opportunities to learn new skills and try different roles. And after a month of job hunting, he took a job at IT services company The Missing Link.

“I’m learning a lot,” he said after almost nine months in the role. “The main reason I chose the company is that it offers so much potential career growth.”

thirst for skills

New research from Microsoft suggests Mr Nguyen is far from the only Australian worker prioritizing learning and development.

This week, the global tech giant released its latest Work Trends Index – a survey of 20,006 full-time workers in 11 countries that found employers had to sit back from work to retain employees in a global war for talent.

Two-thirds of Australian workers surveyed said a lack of growth opportunities at their company meant they were unlikely to stay there long.

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Meanwhile, nearly seven in 10 respondents (69 percent) said the best way for them to develop their skills is to change companies, and about three-quarters (74 percent) said they would stay with their employer longer when it would be easier to switch jobs internally.

HR experts said the results underscored the importance of developing talent, but also spoke of a broader trend of employee withdrawal and isolation triggered by the pandemic.

Lost Connections

A Microsoft executive, Jane Mackarell, said the research showed Australian workers were less satisfied than the global average with opportunities for growth in their workplace.

Noting the impact of the extended lockdowns in Australia, she said it was likely due to the weakening of the bonds between employees and their jobs as employees continue to work from home.

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“In Australia we’ve been locked down more than anywhere else in the world — and I think that connection has been lost,” she said AFR weekend.

Ms Mackarell said it’s up to employers to re-establish that connection by proactively providing employees with development opportunities and creating a work environment where employees feel comfortable being themselves.

She said employees have become more reserved and isolated during the pandemic, and employers need to make more efforts to help them find meaning in their jobs.

“It’s about getting that whole person back to work,” Ms Mackarell said, noting that that commitment extends to including workers in matters close to their hearts.

“People Getting Better”

Aaron McEwan, Gartner’s vice president of research and consulting, said that the most forward-thinking companies on these issues hire career coaches to help their employees achieve both their professional and personal goals.

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“It’s not just the company that says, ‘Hey, here’s a set of skills that our employees need [learn]’. It’s, “What do you want to do with your life? And how do we help you get there?’” he said.

Mr McEwan said helping staff achieve their personal goals – be it training for a marathon or learning a new language – has become more important during the pandemic as the “existential” event has encouraged people to take on the role of work to reconsider in their lives.

“Today’s employees aren’t just interested in growing in a direction that fits or serves the company they work for,” he said.

“[They are interested in] improve their employability, expand their options, but also become better people, whatever that means for them.”



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