Webinar wrap-up: Why are 40% of employees planning to quit? And how can I hold onto mine?

employees quit

Here’s what panellists Daniel Kniaz, founder and CEO of DiviPay; Alex Hattingh, chief people officer at Employment Hero; host Sharon Williams; and economist Warren Hogan (Judo Bank, EQ Economics) had to say regarding employee engagement and retention.

In a recent SmartCompany webinar, Sharon Williams, founder and CEO of Taurus Marketing, led an insight-packed discussion on how SMEs can prepare their businesses for “the next normal”. 

The next recap will focus on how to keep teams happy, healthy and productive in a hybrid world, while this one unpacks the challenge of retaining top talent amid the Great Resignation. 

Here’s what panellists Daniel Kniaz, founder and CEO of DiviPay, Alex Hattingh, chief people officer at Employment Hero, and economist Warren Hogan (Judo Bank, EQ Economics) had to say.

40% of Aussies plan to quit their jobs within six months

When Hattingh’s team did their own study on the ‘Great Resignation’, they found 40% of Aussies plan to leave their jobs within the next six months. And 15% are already on the hunt for a new role. 

The key reasons they gave for wanting to quit were: 

  • Lack of career opportunities, 
  • Stagnant wages,
  • Lack of appreciation and recognition, and 
  • Poor company culture.

To improve retention in your workplace, Hattingh suggests focusing on career development, pay increases, and rewarding and recognising your workers. 

If there’s not a lot of wiggle room in your budget, don’t despair – it’s not all about the salaries. Even in a highly competitive hiring market, DiviPay has managed to attract top talent from companies like Citi Bank, Macquarie, Datto, Publicis Group and Deputy. 

Employees want to feel they are part of something that is growing and invested in your company mission. Indirect financial incentives don’t hurt, either – for example, DiviPay has reframed “sick days” into “wellbeing days”. 

Birthday leave and dinner bonuses, and giving your employees large referral incentives can also improve your growth rate and have the added benefit of strengthening culture.

How a 10% wage increase will save you money in the long run

If you can accommodate them, those wage increases employees are hankering for are a “matter of urgency”, according to Hogan. Particularly for lower income staff or younger people, who are suffering the most from all those recent cost-of-living increases.

Businesses are better off “paying all your staff 10% more right now than going through a painful process of losing key people, trying to rehire and, in the end, it’s going to cost you more and be more disruptive,” Hogan says. 

In fact, theHRDIRECTOR magazine calculated that it currently costs $23,000 to replace an employee on average, Hattingh says. That’s double what it was a year ago.

Meanwhile, rising costs are putting the squeeze on businesses too, Hogan says, and ultimately “the customer will have to bear the burden of this”. In other words, businesses will need to increase their prices over the next two years, or risk going under. 

The good news? The Federal budget included a 120% tax incentive on both digitising your operations and training staff. Hogan expects a lot of the businesses that are taking advantage of these incentives are doing it “in the context of getting themselves set up for this digital world and for remote operations”.

How to keep teams engaged

The right tech can play a major role in improving engagement, Kniaz explains, and one reason for that is it often automates the most mind-numbing administration tasks. 

“If you remove that admin work, team members can get more leverage and they can focus on the more strategic parts of their role, which they might not have had time for before,” he says. “I think it’s actually this strategic work that’s the most engaging in anyone’s day-to-day, and absolutely the most rewarding part of their job.”

Digitising processes also helps keep teams engaged by giving them an opportunity to learn new skills — addressing that “lack of career development” issue. 

“Employers now really value candidates who have the experience in what we call best-in-breed software and tools,” Kniaz says. “So as an employee, if I can get training or I can learn a new piece of software, that’s going to help my career.” 

Learning new skills makes employees feel more valuable, he adds, which in turn increases happiness at work and improves engagement.

NOW READ: Employee wellbeing and business success in a hybrid world


DiviPay is an all-in-one virtual business card and expense management platform that enables finance teams to better manage, control and streamline spending across their organisation. Founded by Daniel Kniaz and Russell Martin, DiviPay’s easy-to-use web and mobile app comes with instant virtual expense cards, bill pay, card controls and budgeting, a real-time transaction feed, automated expense reports, powerful accounting integrations, subscription spending management and exclusive rewards.

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