2013 Employee Engagement Survey


Australian executives are losing the respect and confidence of the people they lead according to a major survey by the Australian Institute of Management VT released this week.

Of the 2,223 business people involved in AIM VT’s employee engagement survey, more than one third (38%) do not believe their manager helps them perform at their best.
Just 57 percent of people said the management of their organisation listens and responds to employee concerns (down 4% on AIM VT’s 2010 employee engagement survey). Only 54% of participants said they felt appreciated by their employer (down 6% on 2010 survey).

Further, less than half (49%) of those surveyed believe the senior management of their organisation cultivates a good workplace culture (down 7% on 2010 survey). Another indicator about senior management’s failure to create a good organisational culture is just 39 percent of survey participants said two-way communication flow between senior and middle management in their firms was ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’. The number of people who described it as ‘very effective’ was just nine percent.

Survey participants were Board members, CEOs and business owners, as well as all management ranks and team members. Participants reflected the broad cross section of Australian industry and government organisations.

“The data shows that many Australian organisations are grossly underperforming. How can organisations lift productivity and boost the bottom line when there is such a big disconnect between management and the people who report directly to them?,”  the CEO of the Australian Institute of Management VT, Ms Carmel Ackerly said.

“Employee engagement should be on the list of key performance indicators for managers. That’ll enable organisations to hold managers to account for how they communicate, motivate and lead their team members,” she said.

A pointer to management’s rising resentment  about wage and benefits restraints in the downturn is the number of executives who said their employer  ‘is not providing adequate salary/employee benefits’ has risen by 18% since 2010 (now stands at 30%). Sixty- six percent of those surveyed said they intend staying with their current employer for the ‘foreseeable future’ (11% said they would be leaving and 23% were unsure).

“These survey findings reveal an unsettled national workplace in which a growing number of managers are unhappy with their salary package but are not intending to leave their employer. Some of these disgruntled managers will simply be going through the motions at work and will leave when the downturn ends.”

Of those people intending to remain at their present workplace, a ‘good relationship with co-workers’ is named as the major reason why (nominated by 67% of respondents). This factor ranked above ‘job satisfaction’ (63%) and ‘flexible working arrangements’ (57%) as the most important factors persuading people to remain with their current employers. Salary was ranked seventh (46%).
Of particular relevance to top level management and human resource professionals is the survey finding that people who are aware of their organisation’s mission and values are almost twice as likely to declare they will be staying with their current employer ‘for the foreseeable future’.

Sixty-four percent of participants said their organisation gets a positive return on having a ‘mission and values’ statement. Of those firms that do have a mission and values statement, private sector businesses are much more likely than their public sector counterparts to say their organisational values are reflected in the way they operate (65% to 56%).

“The survey confirms that companies without a mission and values statement are losing an opportunity to inspire and energise their staff. For best effect, organisations need to ingrain their values statement into the corporate psyche.”

Also revealed in the survey is that only 48 percent of business professionals said they are working at full capacity. “This shows a great underutilisation of talent and tells us that people want to make more of a contribution, but they need to better understand where the organisation is going and why. In that regard, genuine two way dialogue is required between senior executives and lower level managers,” she said.

Other survey highlights are:

- Australian organisations can best improve employee engagement levels by making staff feel ‘valued and understood’. This factor is considered to be the clear leader in maximising employee engagement with a 59% rating ahead of other factors: ‘a job that has a real purpose’ (35%) and ‘organisational culture’ (27%)

- More than one in four business professionals (27%) said an employee should seek to remain with the one organisation for their entire career

- People are staying with their current employer for a longer period. The number of people who say they have been with their existing employer for six years or more has increased by 8% (now stands at 55%)

- Overall, the number of people who care about the future of their organisation is down quite significantly. In 2010 the figure was 94%. Now it stands at 87% - a drop of 7%  

- Seventy five percent (75%) of people working with small organisations (1-20 employees) say they care ‘strongly’ for the future of their organisation compared to just 57% of those working for large organisations (more than 5,000 employees).

For further information, please contact:       
Leigh Funston AFAIM, Head, Stakeholder Relations, Australian Institute of Management VT
M: 0414 866 697

The Australian Institute of Management is the nation’s major professional body for managers. It provides management development, executive insights and research services and is a non-profit organisation.

The survery is available to members only.

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