Bosses are now less likely to replace staff who leave, placing more pressure on existing staff, results of a new survey show.
Global recruitment company Hudson's surveyed over 2600 employers and workers as part of its Salary and Employment Insights survey, and found that just 21.1% of employers always replace roles when a team member departs.
While 67.2% of respondents said that the workload is distributed amongst the remaining team members when an employee leaves.
As a consequence, 77% of employees said that they have taken on greater or new responsibilities, with over 41% of respondents reporting that they are now feeling more stressed than a year ago.
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Hudson Executive General Manager, Roman Rogers, said that employers need to strike the balance between rewarding staff and managing financial pressures.
"Where roles aren't being replaced, that's putting pressure on the current team and is not sustainable in the long term. Consequently, employers need to protect their position and take steps to retain high performers, as high-staff churn is counter-productive," he said.
Employees looking for new jobs
The survey results also showed that over half (56.4%) of employees said that they are actively or passively looking for new roles.
Accordingly, an increase in pay was cited as the most important consideration when changing jobs by 22.8% by employees and whilst most employers (70.9%) plan to award modest pay rises of 2-3% in 2013, this was mainly motivated by a desire to retain high performers.
And those employers not rewarding high performers (57.1%) were understandably worried about losing them.
"With employees motivated by pay and budgets remaining tight, employers should prioritise spending and ensure rewards and benefits incentivise and retain high performers," said Rogers.
The survey results have sparked a debate on TV ONE's Breakfast this morning.
"Many employers both Government and private sector are expecting staff to give up more of their personal time to cover increased workloads. They call it job security.. I call it exploitation. What happened to family first?" said Paul Harrison.
While Susan Alderson said that employers are "trying to keep our heads above water too."
"Our overheads have doubled, but not our productivity or income!" How many of the unemployed are actually skilled workers? We struggled to find staff." she said.
Surprisingly, the Hudson survey also showed that despite the increase in workloads and responsibilities and lack of financial rewards - employee morale levels are generally high.
Rogers added that this anomaly may be explained by businesses doing better when it comes to communicating their strategies and plan to employees in difficult times.
"If employees understand their efforts will be recognised and rewarded, they are more likely to be engaged, work productively and contribute to a positive company culture than can survive challenging economic times.
"It's good to see employers heeding this advice, as it will aid them in mitigating economic challenges in 2013," explained Rogers.