Australian Human Resources

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Year-round thanks essential

June 30 2017 - Recent research from Reward Gateway found that 79% of Australian employees preferred appreciation by managers all-year round instead of single annual events for recognition such as work anniversaries, performance reviews, or company events.

The survey of more than 500 employees and over 500 senior decision makers showed that 56% of workers in Australia would leave an organization if they did not receive regular thanks and recognition for their efforts. This is significant given falling employee retention rates.

In fact, according to Reward Gateway, there is a disconnect between employers and employees in that almost 8 in ten (79%) of senior decision makers said that they prioritised showing appreciation and thanks to employees who have done good work in a timely way, on a regular basis, while more than 60% of workers felt that their colleagues could be thanked and praised more regularly by managers and leaders when they do good work.

Most of the $62.24bn a year that organizations spend on employee recognition is focused on rewarding tenure, through long service awards, for example.

No fewer than 85% of surveyed employees thought that managers should spot good work and give praise and thanks whenever it happened. But he study found that fewer than one in ten managers encouraged by their own line managers to show appreciation and thanks to employees in their teams. Just 61% of managers had tech-based tools to say thank you and recognise good behaviour and fewer had access to tools that enabled sharing of praise publicly between teams.

According to Glenn Elliott, Reward Gateway CEO:

"This is another really strong data point that tells us what we???re doing with recognition is wrong. If companies want to improve employee engagement, motivation and retention they need to urgently divert investments from tenure based, long service award programmes which aren't working but are costing businesses a fortune. We've worked hard to make our SmartAwards product support what today's employees want for recognition and deliver a much improved ROI for clients."

Previous article: Australians Most Likely To Leave

August 31 2010 - Australian workers are more likely to change employers over the next 12 months compared to staff in 16 other countries, according to research by employee engagement consultants Infogroup/ORC.

Based on responses from 9300 employees worldwide, the study found that 57 per cent were engaged with their current organizations, with Australia placed 7th, narrowly behind the United States and Germany.

The report by Phil Pringle of Infogroup/ORC found that Australian organizations were more affected by a lack of employee commitment to stay in the medium to long-term than by a current unwillingness to contribute or perceptions of their organization as a bad place to work.

For responses to the statement: "I intend to be working for my organization in 12 months time", Australia scored 8 percentage points below the global norm and 16 percentage points below Germany, 14 percentage points below Russia, and 10 percentage points below Switzerland. For responses to the statement "It would take a lot to get me to leave my organization", Australia scored 6 percentage points below the global norm.

The study found that lack of commitment to stay with their current organization did not reflect poor HR practice and that Australia compared favourably in this respect with nations such as China, the UK, Spain, Singapore, Italy, Hong Kong and Japan. Responses to four statements scored at least 10 percentage points above the global norm:

  • "I believe my organization is an equal opportunity employer"
  • "There are policies/practices in place to support me if I experience stress or pressure"
  • "Health and safety is taken seriously in my organization"
  • "I am satisfied with the training I receive for my present job"

The study concluded that lack of commitment to stay was associated with interlinked themes of line manager capability and career progression. Over a third of Australian respondents were neutral when asked whether their line manager inspired them to work more effectively. A quarter actively disagreed with the statement "I receive regular and constructive feedback on my performance". In addition, 60 per cent responded neutrally or negatively to the statement "Opportunities for career advancement at my organization are based on merit". One third were neutral, and nearly a quarter (23 per cent) were negative towards the statement "I am satisfied with the opportunities I have to get a better job in this organization". The report suggests that as global competition for talent continues to increase, the onus is on line manager capability to recognise potential and engage employees in the long-term to enhance organizational success.

Wendy McInnes, director of employee research for Asia Pacific, commented:

"The story the data is telling is not surprising. Time and again we hear staff leave their managers, rather than their organization. Infogroup Perspectives has identified that Australian employees want to deliver value for their employers. However if managers canít nurture, develop and recognise their employees' talent, they will look elsewhere; no matter what positive feeling they have towards the organization".



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