workmonitor 2024 rethinking ambition.

report highlights

explore the themes for 2024.

  • ambition

    Ambition is more than climbing the career ladder, and talent’s motivation is not necessarily driven by promotions.

    For nearly two-thirds of respondents (60%), their personal lives are more important than their work lives. Work-life balance now ranks as highly as pay on workers’ lists of priorities (93%) — more than any other considerations. When looking at their next career move, work-life balance is even more important (57%) than higher pay (55%).

    Over a third don’t want career progression because they are happy in their role (39%), and the long-term ambition for most respondents is a stable in-house role. But that does not stop them from wanting to future-proof their skills through training (72%), especially in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and IT, which are reshaping job roles.

    Employers' talent strategies will need to acknowledge these changing priorities and offer more creative paths to progression that align with the different ambitions of their talent.

  • flexibility

    Talent still demands and seeks flexibility to accommodate all of their priorities.
    The importance of work-life balance is also reflected in a continued focus on flexible working, even as employers are increasingly advocating a return to the office. Many workers adjusted to the work-from-home lifestyle over the pandemic years — moving further afield or getting a pet — as they expected remote working to stay.

    Working from home is non-negotiable for close to 2 in 5 respondents. Similar numbers (37%) would consider quitting if they were forced to spend more time in the office.

    However, there is a nuance when it comes to making their next career move: wanting flexible working hours edges slightly ahead of the need to work from home (41% vs. 37%).

  • equity & understanding.

    Talent is looking to build connections with employers so that they can present their full selves and work with organisations to improve equity in the workplace.

    Over a third say that they wouldn’t accept a job if they did not agree with the views of the organisation’s leadership (38%), with 54% of respondents considering their employer’s stance and actions on social and political issues important.

    Meanwhile, almost two-fifths (38%) seek alignment on social and environmental issues with a future employer.

  • AI & skilling

    Talent continues to prioritise the future-proofing of their skills, particularly in light of the widespread adoption of AI. Despite more complex attitudes to career progression and ambition, there is a continued thirst for training and development in both current roles and for future career moves (72%). Around a third (29%) would even go as far as quitting a job that didn’t offer adequate learning and development (L&D) opportunities.

     Respondents see the responsibility for training and development residing with both them and their employers, again underlining the connection theme that runs through the entire survey.

equity and understanding.

Working for an employer that embraces equity, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) is a priority for Australian talent. However, talent see themselves in the driver’s seat when it comes to improving ED&I outcomes, with 47% of respondents (talent) indicating that it is their responsibility to improve ED&I outcomes versus only 20% indicating the responsibility lies with the employers.

about the workmonitor

Workers across Australia have overcome profound threats to emerge intact and renewed over the past two years. Yet one thing is clear in this new world of work: the dynamic between candidates and employers has shifted. 

Randstad’s Australian Workmonitor is a survey of 1,000 employees revealing the generational differences in opinion on issues such as job flexibility, work life balance, personal and professional growth and corporate social responsibilities.