How Serious are We I Wonder About Keeping our Most Talented Workers here in Australian Workplaces?

How Serious are We I Wonder About Keeping our Most Talented Workers here in Australian Workplaces?


I have just been looking at some of the recent employment and job related figures from countries like China, India, Brazil and others and some of them are quite mind blowing.

I guess we are all aware of the China syndrome – after all it is the Chinese economy that is keeping all of us here in Australia in jobs and prosperity but, what concerns me just as much is the enormous growth potential not just in India which I guess in a country of 1.21 billion is not surprising but in the aggregate of countries like India in the Asian region and countries like Brazil in South America – even Russia is experiencing an explosion in wealth, jobs and skilled job growth. And these countries are not planning to follow the developed world’s pattern of economic growth no way – they are leapfrogging their economies from low tech. jobs straight into the 21st century knowledge economy. They are meeting us head on and their demand for talent is exploding.

These countries are serious about growth and so sourcing the best talent, where ever it is in the world is a top priority.  With their rapidly growing middle class and prosperity, these countries can offer the world’s best an enviable lifestyle to go with their remuneration package.

So, where does this leave us? Well, what worries me is our complacency.  Sure there maybe boardrooms and government focus groups contemplating the issue but, for the most part I don’t see a lot of action.

We just don’t seem to have computed that the skills shortage that we have now is all set to get a hell of a lot worse and in very short time frames!

Linked to this, I don’t see a lot of innovation in the way we compensate our staff.  Mercer, Hays, PWC and others have been reporting for years now of the many different ways companies are using to attract and retain those (clichéd) ‘best of breed’ employees but, despite their reports and their consultants drawing our attention to innovative remuneration practices, their statistics show that, in the main, Australian employers remain very traditional (or perhaps conservative) in their approaches to remuneration and benefits for employees.

This is not new of course. When I was a (much younger) professional just starting out in my career it was a given that, if you wanted to really get somewhere you had to leave Australia and get a job offshore.  Many of my peers are still working outside of Australia. It’s not that they get more money per say it’s more about the ‘total’ package and reward they get.

How serious are we I wonder about keeping our most talented workers here in Australian workplaces?

How many companies do you know that offer real  incentives to their employees?? – and I don’t just mean money here!

In my next post I’ll tease out what I mean by real incentives.

Stay tuned

Helen Sabell


The College For Adult Learning

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