IT Brief Australia - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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Workers feel undervalued, spurring job change considerations
Wed, 21st Feb 2024

The inaugural Workplace Engagement Index, recently launched by Reward Gateway, exposes a significant disparity in perceptions of employee appreciation within Australian businesses. Of note, nearly two-thirds (65%) of Australia's employees do not perceive their managers as appreciative, while an alarming 61% of them reported they do not feel frequently recognised in their workplaces.

This mismatch between employers and employees appears to have tangible consequences. Approximately 35% of the surveyed Australians cite a lack of recognition as a reason for contemplating a job change. Notably, 37% of those who frequently feel burnt out point towards lack of recognition as the prime contributor.

Interestingly, an overwhelming 79% of HR managers claim their employees are consistently recognised for their work. This considerable perception gap underscores the need for Australian companies to address recognition systems and improve communication channels between management and staff.

"We know that engaged and productive employees are the life-blood of every successful organisation, and that recognition and rewards are crucial to keeping productivity high," asserts Kylie Green, Managing Director of APAC at Reward Gateway. She warns, if businesses fail to bridge this perception gap, they "run the risk of further disengagement and, ultimately, employees leaving."

According to the index, overall Australian employee engagement stands at a modest score of 6.2 out of 10. In stark contrast, HR managers perceive the score to be significantly higher, at 7.9.

Another notable outcome from the Workplace Engagement Index is the significant role supportive and caring management plays in fostering motivation and productivity. It found that 83% of employees feel more productive and motivated if they perceive their managers as supportive. Employee-manager relationships, however, need to improve as nearly half (44%) of employees wouldn't describe their manager as respectful, and over a third (34%) view this relationship as purely transactional.

As well as this, employee financial welfare emerges as a significant concern. A staggering 81% of Australians are increasingly worried about inflation and the cost of living. Alarmingly, 55% of them don’t believe their financial wellbeing has improved over the last two years. For older Millennials, this concern is even greater, with 40% experiencing a decline in their financial wellbeing.

As the Australian workforce navigates these challenges, flexible working arrangements appear to be highly valued, with 57% asserting such flexibility has elevated their productivity and motivation. Nevertheless, two-thirds of the respondents advocate a balance between work and personal life as a critical prerequisite for workplace satisfaction.