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Reward Gateway Study: Australia HR, Employee Views Vary on Engagement

An analysis of 1,000 employees and 1,000 human resources managers by Reward Gateway, the international recognition company owned by Edenred, finds that human resources managers and employees have different views of engagement effectiveness.

What Australian Workers Seek
Other Findings

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Human resources managers have greater confidence in the effectiveness of their engagement efforts than employees feel, according to this study by Reward Gateway. From its survey of 1,000 Australian employees and 1,000 human resources (HR) managers and using the methodology below, it concludes that the “Australian Workplace Engagement Index for 2024 is a moderate score of 6.2 out of 10.” Human resources managers responding to the survey gave their organizations a better score of how they support and engage their employees, a score of 7.9 out of 10.
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In addition, the survey finds that 79% of HR managers say that employees are consistently recognized for their work. However, only 53% of employees agree – a significant 26% disparity.”
The study finds that for “Australian employees, a strong and supportive manager is one of the top three drivers of productivity, showing how crucial good management is to the success of an organization. Unfortunately, our research also uncovered that while supportive managers are in high demand, they’re also in short supply. Only one in four Australian employees would recommend their line manager, and 31% of employees admitted they only feel supported by their managers occasionally, while 15% rarely or never feel supported at all.”
The company says its Workplace Engagement Index is based on four pillars: “connection and belonging, personal and professional wellbeing, leadership, and management, and understanding employee needs. The index assigns weights to each pillar based on the perceived importance to employees. Using a predetermined list of 22 attributes across these pillars, respondents rate their companies, and the ratings per attribute are averaged within each pillar. The assigned weights are then added to calculate the total index.”

What Australian Workers Seek

Based on the analysis, “We can see that crucial themes for sustained engagement include fair pay and financial benefits, transparent communication, work-life balance, flexible work arrangements, engaging work scopes, a culture of empathy and an inclusive environment. Some key initiatives that scored high for importance but see room for improvement when it comes to engagement include recognition and rewards, an openness to new ways of working, a positive and adaptive approach during periods of change and understanding team members’ needs. Interestingly, employees placed less importance on leveraging AI and technology, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and organizing social gatherings.”
Employees aged 35 years old and below have higher engagement scores, as well as fully remote and hybrid employees compared to office-based workers. Additionally, frontline workers show a significantly lower index compared to other workers, the study finds.


Other Findings

What employees want:
41%, fulfilling job responsibilities
38%, a strong and supportive manager/leader
33%, receive recognition and rewards
26%, competitive competition
26%, seeing the contribution of their work
What human resources management seek:
30%, receive recognition and rewards
29%, fulfilling job responsibilities
28%, a strong and supportive manager/leader
28%, learning and training
27%, seeing the contribution of their work
Top reasons Australians leave:
44% being overworked
42% poor pay
35% lack of recognition
31% lack of work-life balance
30% lack of career advance

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