Our 2022 Global Talent Trends Study brings together the voices of C-suite executives, HR leaders, and employees from Australia and around the world and reveals what’s keeping them up at night as well as their hopes for the future. Their stories point to the need for a more Relatable Organisation, one that challenges legacy notions of value-creation and redefines its contribution to society. Uncover how organisations are taking advantage of the opportunity to redesign work, working and the workplace.

Everyone knows someone who has left or is leaving their job these days. Whether it be our friends, our staff, or even ourselves. But despite our perceptions or what we hear on the news, not everyone is quitting their job. In fact, the percentage of employees who are satisfied in their roles and have  no plans to leave has remained stable, around the 50% mark since 2019. But the Great Resignation certainly has sharpened the focus on retention, which is one of the top asks from CEOs to their HR leaders this year.


Three in five executives in Australia (62%) say we are in a labour shortage crisis and 68% of HR professionals are predicting higher than normal turnover this year – most notably with regard to younger workers and those in the digital space.


Interestingly, employees’ reasons for staying at their company do not differ much by country and industry, but they do differ by generation. Gen Z employees place more value on inspiring leaders, with competitive pay ranking lower on their list. For Baby Boomers, holiday/time-off policies is the number-two reason they’ve stayed. Job security is number one across all four generational groups.


Top 5 reasons Australian employees stay

  1. Job security
  2. Flexible working policy
  3. Competitiveness of pay/rewards
  4. Fair pay/responsible rewards practices
  5. Organisation's brand/reputation

The Study also shows that people no longer want to work for a company; they want to work with a company. This represents a shift in the social contract of work. Working in partnership means reassessing the employee-employer relationship and ensuring that everyone feels they are getting a fair deal and benefiting from an equitable relationship between employer and individual regardless of employment status and the type of work they do.


Relatable organisations see the value in ‘partnering’ over ‘leading’ and are doing this by evolving their return-to-work strategies into sustainable future-of-work models.


Nearly all HR leaders (90%) think there is more work to be done to build a trusting culture at their company, particularly as many consider shifting to a hybrid working model.


Executives are concerned about remote working, but employees see things differently

Australian executives

  • Almost all executives (92%) would like to see their staff in the office
  • 57% fundamentally believe that work gets done in an office, not remotely.
  • 71% worry remote workers will become disenfranchised from the company, its culture and team

Australian employees

  • 3 in 5 employees would join a company only if they can work remotely or in a hybrid engagement.
  • 79% say senior leaders at their company are genuinely supportive of flexibility
  • 74% say their organisation will be more successful with remote workers/ hybrid working

The concern of 67% of executives is about the impact of remote working on the organisational culture, with 65% saying they have an apprenticeship culture today where people learn side by side, not remote – requiring a redesign of learning.


Here we share some recommendations for you to create or accelerate a partnership mindset in your organisation.


Getting Started


1. Build a partnering mindset across your business.

Define what it takes to be a good partner to different stakeholder groups. Equip managers and employees to set clear expectations for different work models, define ways of working and agree digital ways of effective collaboration. Train managers on managing talent across temporal, geographic and digital divides.


2. Redefine contracts and expectations.

Map your talent ecosystem and consider how contractual arrangements might need to change to deliver greater flexibility for the individual and the organisation.


3. Ensure your listening campaigns lead to organisational learning and action

by developing a rapid response strategy.

Debrief data findings, identify opportunities for improvement and experimentation. Build on new ideas that improve the employee experience and employee performance.


4. Evaluate how best to deliver flexible working options for all.

Move beyond location-based flexibility to expand access to flexible work arrangements. Consider how time-based flexibility, part-time, or contract-based work can be differentiators for on-site talent.


5. Mitigate the risks of remote/hybrid working. 

Combine HRIS data with attitudinal insights to identify patterns, problems, and

linkages related to critical people and business outcomes (e.g., turnover, performance).

Suggestions to Accelerate


1. Move from “mandated” flexibility to organic flexibility in the flow of work.

Investing in technology to ease the logistics of hybrid working. Anchor to trust as a core element of your corporate culture when testing new ways of partnering.


2. Re-segment your EVP for new work models.

Understand what work arrangements your current employees truly value and what might motivate targeted talent to join. Identify differentiators in your total rewards strategy to address unmet needs. Tackle barriers to gig working by addressing gaps in financial and health protections to promote equity.


3. Embed a partnership mindset into your reward programs.

 Consider different reward structures for different work models by reflecting the market value of skills (expand your peer group across industries and geographies for remote jobs). Reward performance, incentivise development, and promote fairness. Be transparent in how pay decisions are made and the implications of pay philosophies.


4. Use talent intelligence to stay connected to what matters.

Mitigate “loss of contact” risk by ensuring new hires, diverse hires and remote workers are forming value-adding relationships. Network and sentiment analysis can help to stay informed on what employees say and do.

“The pandemic has delivered a seismic shift in the social contract of work. Employees want new ways of working that suit the hybrid world of work. The challenge for organisations is that this often looks different for each individual. How organisations partner with their employees on this issue will be critical to their attraction and retention strategies and delivering long term sustainable growth.”
- Andrew Lafontaine, Partner, Strategy & Growth, Workforce Solutions, Mercer
Global talent trends - partnership


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Ephraim Patrick

Andrew Lafontaine
Partner, Strategy & Growth, Workforce Solutions, Mercer


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