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Surprising reason 7 in 10 Aussies would reject a promotion

Confused frustrated young man reading letter in cafe, debt notification
Atlassian's new report reveals why Aussies would turn down a promotion. (Source: Getty) (fizkes via Getty Images)

Would you accept a promotion, if you knew your job was about to get way more stressful?

If your answer to this question is yes, you’re in the minority: 69 per cent of employees would knock back a promotion in order to protect their mental health, according to new research by Atlassian.

After 18 months defined by a global pandemic and massive upheaval to the way people work, mental health and wellbeing has emerged as the number one priority for Australian workers, Atlassian's report found.

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Not only that, but workers are increasingly expecting their employers to take a stance on social issues.

And if employers don't, some say they’re prepared to walk: more than a third (37 per cent) of employees said they would quit their job if their employer acted in a way that wasn’t in line with their personal values.

Employees of today expect more, Atlassian co-founder and co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes said.

“The era of the corporation being an invisible entity is gone,” he said.

His counterpart, Scott Farquhar, warned business leaders that the consequences of inaction were “very real”.

“We’re in a global war for talent and employees want change. There have never been higher expectations on business, and how we respond as leaders is crucial,” he said.

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More than eight in 10 (82 per cent) believe businesses should take some form of action to address social issues, an uptick from 75 per cent last year.

The report revealed that workers most want businesses to take action on economic, environmental and equality issues in particular, with 81 per cent of workers believing businesses should take full responsibility for their environmental impact and should invest in renewable energy.

But gender equality, racism, and poverty were also areas that workers believe businesses should use their influence to drive change for.

Ignore at your own risk

Business leaders who fail to heed their employees’ new expectations will be facing a less engaged, less satisfied workforce, according to the report.

“They now hold more power than ever before, dictating the terms of employment to suit their needs,” it said.

Gen Y and Gen Z, who were the groups most likely to quit if their employer wasn’t acting in line with their values, will make up the majority of the workforce in a few years.

“If this groundswell of support for action is ignored, it will open businesses up to the risk of alienating the emerging workforce,” Farquhar said.

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