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45% of workers plan to leave their employer within 12 months

RedBalloon.com.au and Insync Surveys reveal worrying employee satisfaction levels

Tuesday September 20 2011: Australia and New Zealand’s largest public employer of choice survey shows less than half (40 per cent) of all employees are satisfied with their job, 45 per cent are planning to look for another role in the next 12 months and only one third (33 per cent) would recommend their employer.

Now in its second year, the Insync Surveys and RedBalloon 2011 Dream Employers Survey, attracted over 7100 responses from the general public.

CEO of Insync Surveys James Garriock said “Australians are more mobile than ever before with almost half of employees open to new job offers. This is great news for head-hunters, but scary for employers. But these survey findings can also empower organisations to help them dramatically reduce attrition.”

“Employees should be the biggest advocates for an organisation. They can help win new customers and attract new talent, but most employers waste this opportunity.

“If organisations harness the word-of-mouth power of their passionately engaged employees, as is the case with our survey partner RedBalloon, the bottom line impact can be potent.”

Attrition: how to stop staff leaving
When asked what employees most want to improve about their workplace, the top gripes were systems and processes (41 per cent); communication (39 per cent); and rewards and recognition (38 per cent).

“Employees want to know their work is meaningful and connected to the organisation’s goals. Strong communication creates this link because people feel respected and empowered if they’re informed about things that matter to them,” Mr Garriock said.

"As for systems and processes, this is a frustrating reality for many employees, but most people don’t know what other organisations offer in this area.”

RedBalloon founding director Naomi Simson said
“We work with many businesses that already have formal reward and recognition programs in place, but they are not part of the company culture and employees do not understand how they align to the company values.”

“This is often a symptom of poor communication and role modelling from leadership and management teams. It’s so important to keep these programs fresh and constantly changing, so that employees feel engaged and have a purpose that makes them want to give their discretionary effort each and every day.”

“Rewards and recognition are vital in attracting, developing and retaining key talent, and having a great company culture and high levels of employee engagement will be crucial once the thrill of a fatter pay cheque has worn off.”

Attraction and retention: workplace motivators
The top three drivers that make a Dream Employer in 2011 are pay, benefits and conditions (38 per cent), work/life balance (37 per cent) and culture (36 per cent). This is a significant shift from 2010 when the top motivation was brand or company reputation, dropping from 41 per cent to 27 per cent this year.

When asked what employees like best about working for their current employer, the top retention drivers were work-life balance (46 per cent); culture (39 per cent); and pay, benefits and conditions (33 per cent).

Ms Simson says this finding should be seen as a warning to organisations who may be left wanting if they put all their emphasis on fatter pay packets.

“Paying people fairly is an absolute must, but cash rewards don't inspire employee loyalty. Studies have shown that non-monetary incentives have a higher perceived value and are 24 per cent more powerful at boosting performance than cash incentives1.

“The employee feel-good generated by a pay rise only lasts as long as it takes for the extra cash to be swallowed by the mortgage or credit card payment. Keeping people engaged is about being treated fairly, granted autonomy, and the opportunity to learn and develop with a sense of purpose.

“Those who put all their eggs in the salary basket will pay the price with higher staff turnover rates, and reduced productivity from disengaged staff. and worse, they could become damaging brand ‘badvocates’.”

The rise of the employee ‘badvocate’
The Dream Employers Survey shows that only one third (33 per cent) of employed respondents are prepared to recommend their employer.

“Over time research has shown that three quarters of companies have more detractors on staff than advocates. In almost all cases, customers are more likely to be advocates than employees, and this is a major challenge and missed opportunity,” Mr Garriock said.

The “badvocacy” findings are supported by a recent survey from international research and advisory firm the Corporate Executive Board, showing a significant rise in the percentage of employees who would not recommend their former employer - 75 per cent in 2011 compared to 42 per cent in 2008.2

The highest number of employees planning to look for another job within the next 12 months were from the energy (66 per cent), hospitality (66 per cent) and state government (57 per cent) sectors.

The top 20
The top 20Dream Employers as voted by the public were Google, self employed, Virgin Group, Qantas, Apple, Microsoft, OMD, Walt Disney, BHP Billiton, Getaway, United Nations, police force, Vodafone, NASA, Rio Tinto, departments of defence, Commonwealth Bank, Cadbury, Facebook and Lonely Planet.

New to the list in 2011 are NASA, Rio Tinto, Cadbury, police force, departments of defence and Facebook. Making way for these new additions are Sydney Water, Coca Cola, eBay, Salmat and ABC, who have all dropped from the top 20 this year.

Insync Surveys and RedBalloon are running a free webinar unpacking the results of the 2011 Dream Employers report with loads of advice and insights. To register or for more information visit https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/875692081


Notes to Editor
The full 2011 Dream Employers Survey report is attached and can be viewed online here - http://www.insyncsurveys.com.au/resources/research/2011/09/dream-employers-2011-report
For further comment on the report, please see Media Q&A/Fact Sheet

Available for further comment
Naomi Simson – founding director, RedBalloon.com.au
James Garriock – CEO, Insync Surveys

For more information or to arrange an interview or photo of one of our spokespeople, please contact:
Lauren Ashton, Communications Specialist - P: 02 8755 0034 M: 0404 136 765 E:lauren@redballoon.com.au
Virginia Shaw, Marketing Manager - P: 03 9909 9279 M: 0433 722 729 E

About RedBalloon
RedBalloon For Corporate provides exciting reward and recognition solutions, corporate gifts and sales incentives to ensure businesses keep their employees and customers motivated, rewarded and engaged. With a unique resource of over 2,500 amazing experiences in Australia and New Zealand RedBalloon specialises in creating attachments between employees and their employer. RedBalloon has also been awarded for its innovative employee engagement practices, named in the Best Places to Work by BRW Magazine three times, including a top ten ranking in 2009. Hewitt Associates have also awarded RedBalloon with an engagement score of over 90 percent three years in a row. The average engagement score in Australian businesses is 55 per cent.

About Insync Surveys
With offices in Melbourne and Sydney, Insync Surveys specialises in employee, customer, board and other stakeholder surveys backed by consulting. Their experienced team of organisational psychologists and research experts help organisations become more effective. Insync Surveys co-founded the Dream Employers Survey and has worked with some of the largest organisations in Asia Pacific, including: Cathay Pacific, Toll, Medibank Private, WorleyParsons, Fairfax Digital, Mission Australia, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, state government departments, many local councils and most university libraries. This broad experience allows it to benchmark results.

1 University of Chicago study, 2004. Sourced from Increase Employee Performance by Meeting Psychic Income Needs, www.globoforce.com November 2008
2Timpany, Greg: Employee Satisfaction is Key to Retention, 12/08/2011 - http://survey.cvent.com/blog/customer-insights-2/employee-satisfaction-is-key-to-retention?utm_source=SurveyNewsletter