Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The average Australian worker would not recommend their workplace to others, is disinclined to do any more than what’s expected, and is probably on the hunt for another job, a new nationwide employee survey has found.

The State of Employee Engagement in Australia, conducted by Engaged Strategy, asked 3,361 Australians about their attitudes towards their current workplace and employer.

On the whole, Australian employees are unlikely to recommend their workplace as a great place to work to friends and family, with a low national employee engagement score of -23% (negative 23%). This score was calculated by subtracting the percentage of “Detractors” (43%) from the percentage of ‘Promoters’ (20%). Only 37% were found to be ‘Passives’ or neutral.

Workers also say they are disinclined to do more than what is expected in their day-to-day job, with an average discretionary effort score of just 5.8 out of 10.

Furthermore, employee loyalty to their current workplace was also low at just 55.3%.

Engaged Strategy Managing Director Christopher Roberts said the results were of great concern to Australian organisations as it pointed to significant productivity, referral and recruitment issues.

“It’s alarming how few Australians would recommend their current workplace as a great place to work to family and friends. Given the power of word-of-mouth, this has the potential to significantly and negatively impact an organisation’s future recruitment prospects,” he said.

“Worker discretionary effort is also low, with many staff not willing to do any more than what is expected of them during the normal nine-to-five working day.

“This is another alarm bell for organisations, as staff who give you discretionary effort are the ones who deliver customer and client experiences worthy of recommendation and find new ways to increase efficiencies and reduce costs. Interestingly, the discretionary effort scores of ‘Promoters’ are 77% higher than those of ‘Detractors’.”

Mr Roberts said there was a strong link between internal employee engagement and employee loyalty, with “Promoter” employees almost three times more loyal than “Detractor” employees.

“Given 43% of the population are classified ‘Detractors’ of their workplaces, this is a real human resource issue for organisations that may result in greater costs to recruit and retrain new employees,” he said.

“Employee stated loyalty is low, which not only means that many are thinking of leaving, but you also have to wonder how productive an employee with this mindset is going to be while they’re still working there.”

Mr Roberts said employers needed to do more to truly engage their employees, which in turn would improve workplace recommendation, discretionary effort and loyalty.

“Staff engagement is more than just staff satisfaction, it’s about ensuring staff feel genuinely valued, are having some of their core human needs met, and understand the role they play in delivering organisation’s business strategy.

“Ultimately, this boils down to the type of leadership in the organisation. Leaders need to understand exactly what is driving employee commitment, and then link the organisation’s business strategy to employees’ core needs, motivations and purpose to drive engagement.”

A free copy of The State of Employee Engagement in Australia is available to download from


Engaged Strategy is a strategic consultancy that focusses on helping businesses grow by developing fresh customer, marketing and organisational strategies. Engaged Marketing is an approved Net Promoter Score Loyalty Partner. Christopher Roberts is an Industry Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia.

Net Promoter, NPS and Net Promoter Score are trademarks of NICE Satmetrix Systems Inc., Bain & Company and Fred Reichheld.


For more information, please contact:

Carissa Roberts

07 3245 7372