AIM survey: workplace culture shock

THE Australian Institute of Management 2016 National Salary Survey has revealed a culture shock: two thirds of Australian businesses are losing employees due to a lack of workplace culture.

With the rising cost of employing new people – it costs on average $26,410 to recruit a new employee, almost half the average national salary – the AIM survey found 54.6 percent of businesses had concerns over staff retention. 

Almost two thirds (63.7%) of businesses pinpointed organisational culture as their biggest human resources (HR) problem and 58 percent of businesses indicated learning and development of staff was also a HR issue.

The survey also found 66.8 percent of Australian employees left a current job to start a similar role at another organisation.

AIM chief executive officer, David Pich said the cost of staff recruitment was a threat to business operational costs.

“Retaining staff is no easy feat,” Mr Pich said. “Employees can become restless in roles that have limited career advancements or where they don’t enjoy their time at work.

“Combine that with a volatile property and rental market and the pressure to contribute more to their superannuation fund, it’s no wonder staff are becoming disillusioned and feel the need to move jobs as a perceived guarantee to a salary increase. People are investing less into their future, because they need to spend more now.”

 Mr Pich encouraged business leaders to reassess their current pay model and suggested creating a positive and inspiring workplace culture to decrease staff turnover and retain human resource.

“People don’t leave companies; they leave leaders,” Mr Pich said.

“Great managers and leaders make decisions that impact people’s lives and that impact can be felt well beyond the workplace. We spend about a third of our working-age lives doing just that – working. So it is vital our experiences in the workplace are positive as they impact on our overall well-being and on society as a whole.

“At AIM, we’re constantly encouraging our members to invest in building a positive workplace culture, by having open streams of conversation and offering training and professional development support.”

The AIM National Salary Survey, now in its 52nd year, is based on the responses of more than 500 organisations across Australia, covering more than 25,000 employees and 270 job roles.


  • Four in five Australians (81.9%) leave their current role in search of new challenges.
  • More than half (56.5%) leave because of limited career advancement opportunities.
  • It costs on average $26,410 to recruit a new employee.
  • National salary growth has decreased from 4.1% in 2012 to 3.0% in 2016.
  • The industries with the biggest decreases in salary growth are construction, retail, finance, manufacturing (metal/auto) and professional services.
  • One in three (34.5%) Australian businesses are making superannuation contributions above the standard.
  • The biggest human resource issue for business is organisational culture, at 63.7%.



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