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Aussie workers disinterested, survey finds

By Shannon Williams
Wed 22 Jun 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Despite most organisations understanding the importance of employee engagement, new research has revealed Australian workers aren’t as engaged in the workplace as their employers would hope.

A Harvard Business Review study found 71% of organisations rank a high level of employee engagement as a top-three factor most likely to bring success. However, research from Gallup has found 84% of Australian workers are either not engaged, or actively disengaged. 

The Harvard Business Review survey identified key employee engagement drivers as: recognition for high performers, individuals having a clear understanding of how their role contributes to overall strategy; senior leadership continually updating and communicating strategy; and business goals communicated company-wide and understood.

“Engaged employees are more likely to deliver great customer service, which drives increased profits and shareholder returns,” comments Jamie Pride, managing director, REFFIND.

“But the sad reality is that workforces are becoming disconnected and disengaged at fast rates. Given that engaged employees tend to be twice as productive as disengaged employees, it’s no surprise that employee engagement has become a high priority for organisations,” Pride says.

“However, simply throwing more communications at employees does not increase engagement; in fact, it can make employees feel more isolated than ever, since it can indicate that the company doesn’t care about them as individuals,” he explains.

“It’s critical for organisations to take a more personalised, strategic approach to increasing engagement.” 

REFFIND’s approach leverages the workforce’s innate reliance on mobile devices to simplify recruitment, communication, training, and surveys. Pride says this overcomes connectivity issues, especially where employees don’t have access to work email or computers. The platform also includes an emergency beacon, which lets managers confirm their staff are safe during an emergency. 

“As workforce demographics skew younger and younger, communicating via mobile device becomes more important,” he says.

“Millennial workers want to feel engaged by their work. Without engagement, they are less likely to offer their best performance. By contrast, when they do feel engaged and appreciated, they are more likely to offer outstanding experiences to customers.

“This can have a direct impact on the bottom line,” says Pride.

“Add to this the ability to inform and educate workers via their mobile devices in ways that are fun, fast, and memorable, and you end up with an engaged workforce that is supremely equipped to deliver exactly the kind of service that keeps customers coming back again and again.” 

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