Need a new strategy to attract and retain staff in this tight labour market? (Part 1 of 2-part series)
by Anne-Maree Coyne – Senior Consultant, Modus Management
Hiring good staff is certainly harder than ever! A record 85% of Australian businesses report that staff shortages are holding them back from operating at full capacity1. Retaining good is staff is also proving a challenge. Whether it’s called the ‘Great Resignation’ or Josh Frydenberg’s ‘Great Reshuffle’, 1 in 5 Australians have changed jobs within the last year and almost 1 in 4 are considering leaving their current place of employment2.
So, to compete in such a tight labour market and either coax new staff through your doors or keep those precious gems you already have, you need to come up with new strategies. In the wake of Covid, it’s generally accepted that one thing in particular many workers are looking for, is more flexible working arrangements to provide better work/life balance. So, how can you satisfy this desire and become a more attractive employer within the fleet industry?
Offering job sharing is one viable and highly practical way. It’s a flexible work strategy that could be applied much more within fleet. Job sharing allows you to take a traditionally full-time role and divide it into parts which can be done by two or more employees. The fleet indus,try has a predominance of full-time roles3 and job sharing allows for the segmentation of roles that are otherwise hard to offer part-time.
Let’s look at an example of a manager or team leader role. Typically, you need them to be available to supervise and assist staff full-time. If they work only 3 days a week, staff are left unsupervised for 2 days each week. However, if the role is done by, say 2 job sharers over a 5-day week, staff always have supervision and assistance, but each job sharer is able to work part-time.
The approach to job sharing in Australia is changing. Many industries that previously hadn’t embraced it, are now doing so. It’s been prevalent for professions like teaching and medicine for some time but it’s now increasingly popular and trending towards the mainstream for all industries reporting to the federal Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). Almost 50% of WGEA’s almost 5000 reported employers, offered formal job sharing arrangements in 20214. However, WGEA reports an indicative figure that’s still only about half this amount within fleet5. This is despite all manner of roles being successfully shared from the simple to complex - like partners in law firms and CEOs. Clearly, there is room for fleet to step up in this regard!
Another reason why job sharing could be a particularly suitable new strategy for attracting and retaining employees in fleet, is that it’s particularly popular with both younger as well as female employees. The fleet industry is changing to increasingly embrace both these demographics6. These groups tend to be particularly interested in more flexibility for reasons like facilitating caring of children or aging parents and enabling more diverse, simultaneous career portfolios.
So, if you’re having issues finding the right person for a role or if one of your key staff resigns, think about whether offering the role as a job share is feasible.
In the next edition of Fleet intouch, keep an eye out for Part 2 of this article, where we’ll look at the mandatory legal reporting requirements under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 for non-public sector employers with 100 or more employees (along with some serious consequences of non-compliance you may not currently be aware of) as well as how to become a WGEA Employer of Choice and widen your appeal to more prospective employees.
Anne-Maree Coyne is a senior consultant and co-owner of Modus Management Pty Ltd. She specialises in job sharing and operational consulting. For more information, please contact Anne-Maree or visit the company website here.
- Mizen. R. (2022, 3 Feb). Worker shortage hits growth. Australian Financial Review. https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/businesses-shackled-by-shortages-everywhere-20220203-p59thu
- Forbes. K. (2022, 28 Mar). Is 2022 Australia’s Year of the Great Resignation? Property Update. https://propertyupdate.com.au/is-2022-australias-year-of-the-great-resignation/
- Australian Gov Labour Market Insights https://labourmarketinsights.gov.au/occupation-profile/Fleet-Managers?occupationCode=149411.
- Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) 2022. (2022, 18 April) https://data.wgea.gov.au/industries/1?&_ga=2.141417457.2112787739.1647753981-1090579344.1645596047#work_flex_content
- Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) 2022. (2022, 18 April) Road Freight Transport compared with All Industries. https://data.wgea.gov.au/comparison
- Road Freight Transport Data Download https://data.wgea.gov.au/industries/270