The most engaged workers in Australia are perhaps not who one might expect. Yet the findings of a new report are in, and soldiers, accountants and insurance brokers all have one thing very much in common – they love their jobs.
The survey of more than 5,000 Australian employees by consultancy firm Right Management measured workers’ emotional and intellectual commitment to their job and to the success of their organisation. As a result, some key factors emerged which separated the wheat from the chaff. For example, as the industry with the highest engagement score, the secret for the armed forces lies in the sheer strength of leadership. For accountants and insurance brokers, their high engagement score is a result of varied work, client relationships, and simply, being kept busy. On the other side of the coin, HR professionals working in biotechnology, retail, agriculture, hunting, forestry, fishing industries have their work cut out – these sectors all retuned the lowest engagement scores.
Across the board, the survey revealed a more general theme in low engagement – the longer a person works for an organisation the less engaged they become. “The top reasons workers become disengaged is because they don’t feel there is a career for them in their organisation, and they don’t think their job is aligned with their strengths,” Bridget Beattie from Right Management said.
Notably, the report found that the older workers are the more likely they are to be engaged. “As you age, the data tends to suggest you work out how you want to be doing it or you make a change,”
The study determined the top 10 drivers of engagement for Australian employees in 2012 – workers look to:
Be committed to an organisation’s values.
Feel confident in reaching long-term career goals with the organisation
Customers think highly of products and services
Be encouraged to take ownership of individual work.
Believe current role is aligned with personal strengths
Organisation allows for a reasonable work/life balance
Work processes are generally well organised and efficient
Sufficient incentive to perform highly
Work in a safe and healthy environment
Organisation actively promotes health and wellbeing
While the drivers of engagement will vary for each organisation, Australian employees want to feel rewarded for their work, clear about their career direction and proud of their employer. “Leaders and managers should be looking closely at these areas if they want to see ‘bang for buck’ in their efforts to boost engagement,” Beattie said.
HR salaries not so hot in 2012
Are female execs holding other women back?
Ten ways to improve your workers compo claim outcomes
Radical shake-up of workplace bullying
Five reasons not to block Facebook at work
The HR folks at BHP may be onto something