More than a third of Australians are expected to quit their job in the next 12 months, with a lack of career development and uncompetitive salaries cited as the top reasons for the change, according to a new report.

According to the Hays Salary Guide, a survey of Australian businesses and workers, 38 per cent of Australian employees are expecting to leave their current job in the coming financial year, while a further 39 per cent are still open to new opportunities.

The results come from a survey conducted by Hays of 3,800 working professionals.

This will pose a significant staff retention issue for Australian businesses, which will have to look at different methods to keep their workers happy, Hays Australia managing director Nick Deligiannis said.

“A new financial year is fast approaching, which traditionally brings fresh activity to the jobs market as new budgets are set and employers look to add to their headcount,” Deligiannis said.

“Financial year end, like New Year, is also a seasonal peak time of the year for people to review whether they should stay or change jobs.

“For employers, this movement of people will add to their staff retention challenges, which are already heightened in response to a gap in salary expectations between organisations and their employees.”

A lack of promotional opportunities was listed by those surveyed as the key reason why they are looking for a career change, with 43 per cent putting it at the top of the list.

Nearly 40 per cent of people said that an uncompetitive salary was a key reason, while 37 per cent said poor management style or workplace culture, 33 per cent listed a lack of new challenges, a third raised concerns about job security, and 25 per cent of those surveyed said poor training and development was a key factor.

The report found that less than half of those surveyed are satisfied with their current job, while just 49 per cent are satisfied with their current employer, and 55 per cent with their direct manager.

Offering visible and achievable career progression is now a key retention tool for Australian companies of all sizes, Deligiannis said.

“Many professionals feel that their career stagnated over the past year,” he said. “They put their career plans on hold to help their organisation through the crisis and recover. Now, they are focused on their career again and are prioritising advancement.”

The report also found that Australian workers have significantly upskilled during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but are not expecting to receive a commensurate promotion due to these new abilities.

While 46 per cent of workers had developed new soft skills, 45 per cent had worked on technical skills and 21 per cent had gained higher or additional qualifications, only 16 per cent of those surveyed are expecting a promotion in the next year.

“This upskilling has put professionals in a strong position to jump ship if their career goals can’t be achieved in their current workplace,” Deligiannis said.

The same Hays report also found that workers are calling for flexible working benefits, with this now presenting a key competitive advantage.

It found that less than 30 per cent of Australian workers are satisfied with their current benefits package.

The numbers are also similar from Slack’s think tank examining the future of work, Future Forum.

New research found one in five employees are likely to change companies in the next year, and that more than half are open to a new job.

The global study, Future Forum Pulse, found 15 months of pandemic work has shifted employee expectations, with flexibility being a top concern.

It now ranks second only to compensation in determining job satisfaction.