The number one thing Australian workers hate is unnecessarily being told what to do by their bosses, a corporate business guru has revealed.
Kathy McKenzie told Daily Mail Australia the issue becomes even more magnified when ‘old-style boomer managers’ share obvious directions with younger workers – particularly women.
The Fire Up business coaching founder said good bosses encourage their staff to share insights while bad bosses ‘make demands’ and lack trust in their workforce.
Disaffected workers leaving en masse has affected some of Australia’s most crucial industries, with a massive exodus of nurses fleeing the healthcare sector on the heels of the pandemic.
It comes as millions of workers across the globe walk out on their jobs since Covid hit in a phenomenon known as the ‘Great Resignation’.
Amy Halvorsen, 33, walked out on her job as a nurse after enduring brutal treatment at the hands of her bosses
Kathy McKenzie (pictured) said the number one thing Australian workers hate is ‘being told what to do’ by their bosses when they already know how to do their job
IS YOUR BOSS A GOOD LEADER?
WHAT MAKES A GOOD BOSS?
1. Transparency – Tell staff what’s going on and and build trust
2. Relationship – tell people where they stand
3. Understanding – communicate with context
4. Shared success – demonstrate how we win together
5. Tell the truth at all times
WHAT MAKES A BAD BOSS?
1. Redundancy – Often doing meaningless tasks
2. Bureaucracy – Unnecessary rules and procedures
3. Politics – Constant staff disputes
4. Disengagement – Uninspired workers
5. Turnover – Workers wanting to leave
‘In the 80s and 90s, if someone was telling you something that you already knew, you just sucked it up. Now that just doesn’t fly anymore. Especially for younger women,’ she said.
‘When someone starts mansplaining, they know they don’t actually have to put up with that like they did 10 or 15 years ago.
‘Millennials and the new workforce now also really understand what coaching and mentorship is. So if their boomer bosses don’t have that skill they just find it really frustrating and will likely leave.’
Australia is currently in the midst of a jobs crisis following the Covid pandemic, with businesses across the country facing staff shortages.
A mass exodus of workers fed up with their chosen careers coupled with a sharp slow down of immigration from overseas are two of the key factors driving the 50-year low in unemployment, now sitting at 3.9 per cent.
The scope of the issue troubling bosses was laid bare in the latest jobs report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with 423,500 vacancies going unfilled.
Ms Halvorsen was a registered nurse in 2017 and was on the front line of the Covid outbreak serving in the neurology and trauma unit at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital
What is the Great Resignation?
The Great Resignation is an ongoing economic trend which saw 3.9 million workers in the US walk out on their jobs during the Covid crisis in early 2021.
The phenomenon has also spread to other parts of the world including China, Europe, India and Australia.
Experts believe the cause of the ‘big quit’ is due to a number of factors including wage stagnation, job dissatisfaction, safety concerns stemming from the pandemic – and a desire to find a role that offers remote-working policies.
Among the sectors most devastated by a shortfall in staff is the healthcare sector, with 20,000 ‘burnt out’ nurses walking out on the job last year.
One of those who quit, Amy Halvorsen, said there was a ‘huge gap’ between nurses working on the floor and management.
The 33-year-old started working as a registered nurse in 2017 and was on the front line of the Covid outbreak serving in the neurology and trauma unit at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital.
‘It was so understaffed throughout 2021, and when the new waves of the virus kept coming, there was just no reprieve at all,’ she said.
‘As soon as beds finally started to empty out, we’d be hit with another wave, and there was no forward planning by the health department or the government to fix it.
‘We had patients on breathing apparatus who needed to be watched every ten minutes so it became dangerous.’
Ms Halvorsen said the conditions were so bad that there were rarely breaks, and nurses had to rely on fellow staff to watch their patients just to go to the bathroom.
She raised the issue with hospital management, who told her ‘they are not seeing the same thing’.
Ms Halvorsen said the conditions were so bad that there were rarely breaks and nurses had to rely on fellow staff to watch their patients just to go to the bathroom
Ms Halvorsen is pictured protesting for better conditions in the healthcare sector
‘They just see numbers and targets and percentages, not what health staff are going through,’ she said.
‘They were bringing in inexperienced nurses to look after brain surgery patients. It’s dangerous.
They say things like ‘do some deep breathing’. F**k your deep breathing – former nurse Amy Halvorsen
‘You’re frustrated, exhausted and overworked already, and then you are having to help train another nurse. The entire support system was falling apart.’
At one point, she was told to contact a counsellor as part of NSW Health’s ’employee assistance programs’.
‘Me calling a counsellor who has less mental health experience than me and has no medical background is not okay,’ Ms Halvorsen said.
‘They don’t understand. They say things like “do some deep breathing”. F**k your deep breathing.’
Ms Halvorsen (pictured with her partner) said there’s a ‘huge gap’ between nurses working on the floor and management
Among the sectors most devastated by a shortfall in staff is the healthcare sector with 20,000 ‘burnt out’ nurses walking out on the job last year (Ms Halvorsen pictured being interviewed)
Ms McKenzie, who also worked as a registered nurse decades earlier, said it’s a classic example of toxic management.
‘A good leader will be transparent about what’s going on and if they don’t know something, they will share what information they do have,’ she said.
‘Good leaders will also take the time to build strong relationships with their teams.
‘You have to actually know your staff. What are their strengths? What are their values and what are their trigger points?’
New data makes it clear the Great Resignation phenomenon is unfolding in Australia with the ABS revealing the number of people who quit to change jobs or chase a business opportunity was now much higher than the tally of people being sacked or retrenched.
Ms McKenzie said good bosses encourage their staff to share insights while bad bosses ‘make demands’ and lack trust in their workforce (stock image)
CommSec chief economist Craig James said: ‘The great job market shuffle is underway.
‘For the first time there are more people that say they are unemployed because they left their lost job rather than those that lost jobs through redundancy, business failure or poor performance.’
To attract and retain staff will require a lot more effort than applied in the recent past – CommSec chief economist Craig James
Mr James said employers that didn’t offer better pay and conditions were in danger of losing staff.
‘Employers need to be alert and a little alarmed,’ he said.
‘The job market is tight and a near record number of jobs are vacant and looking to be filled.
‘To attract and retain staff will require a lot more effort than applied in the recent past.’
Minimum wage earners received a 5.2 per cent pay increase to keep up with inflation
The Fair Work Commission on Wednesday awarded Australia’s 2.7 million minimum wage and low-paid workers wage rises of up to 5.2 per cent to keep up with spiralling inflation – the most generous bump in 16 years.
But while the much-needed pay rise is a windfall for workers, business owners are feeling the pinch and say they ‘can’t afford it’.
A Sydney café owner broke down in tears during an emotional TV interview fearing his business would not survive amid the rising cost pressures.
Phillip Salhab who runs the Appetite eatery in Five Dock tried to put on a brave face when speaking about the possibility of going bust on Sky News.
He told reporter Peter Stefanovic he’ll ‘save his tears for the pillow’ before eventually becoming overwhelmed and admitting: ‘It would be a lot easier to close’.
Phillip Salhab who runs the Appetite eatery in Five Dock (pictured) tried to put on a brave face when speaking about the possibility of going bust on Sky News
‘While we accept the increase in the minimum wage for our team to keep up with the cost of living pressures, we as a business cannot afford it,’ he said.
‘I appreciate they are going to give us until October 1, but what guarantee is there that everything will be back to normal.’
From July 1, the nation’s lowest paid workers will receive $812.60 a week, an increase of $40, and $21.38 an hour, up $1.05. The awards in the aviation, tourism and hospitality sectors however will not kick in until October 1.
Mr Salhab said he is already paying well above minimum wage to his staff as the hospitality industry faces a massive shortfall of workers.
‘Workers are putting us up against each other from interview to interview telling us what they’ve been offered and getting us to hopefully match or beat it and we just cannot do it,’ he said.
‘We are looking for a kitchen hand at the moment and other venues are offering… $42 an hour, it would be a lot easier for us to close.’
Phillip Salhab (pictured) told reporter Peter Stefanovic he’ll ‘save his tears for the pillow’ before eventually becoming overwhelmed and admitting: ‘It would be a lot easier to close’
The café owner said his eatery makes the best bacon and egg roll in Sydney’s Five Dock (pictured)
He added that the rising costs for fresh food including bread and coffee is also making the business unviable and that continuing to jack-up prices is no longer an option.
‘There is only so much people want to pay for a bacon and egg roll,’ he said adding that’s his is the best in Five Dock.
‘I as a consumer myself cannot justify paying more than $13.50 for a bacon and egg roll.’
The café opened under dire circumstances just six weeks before the first lockdown in 2020.
Mr Salhab said if it wasn’t for diehard community support, ‘we probably wouldn’t still be here’.
Now he’s not sure how much longer that support can last as he facing the prospect of shutting down.