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52 per cent find their workplace demotivating

New research reveals 52 per cent of Australian and New Zealand employees find their workplace demotivating

Auckland – 12 November 2012 - Every second employee in Australia and New Zealand works in a ‘de-energising’ organisational climate which is created by their managers failing to provide an environment that drives their employees to succeed, according to research recently conducted by Hay Group.

More than 3,100 managers from across Australia and New Zealand and 15,400 employees that report directly into these managers participated in the research which focused on organisational climate, examining how employees feel when working in their team and organisation.

According to Wendy Montague, Head of Leadership and Talent Practice, Hay Group Pacific, the research results delivered a poor report card on the state of engagement between organisations, its managers and employees.

“An employee’s perception of their organisational climate is fundamentally influenced by the relationship with their boss, which accounts for up to 70 per cent of employee engagement levels. Given the research found only 48 per cent of employees find their work climate energising and engaging, one must conclude that the health of relations between employees and managers is cause for concern.

“Low engagement levels between managers and their employees can have a significant impact on not only the productivity of an organisation but the overall competitiveness of the ANZ region. We know employee performance has been found to account for a differential in business results of up to 30 per cent, so creating an energising work environment which encourages employees to put in that little bit extra can mean the difference between achieving an average or a high-performing organisation.”

On the upside, the research highlighted some key strengths of Australian and New Zealand managers with 73 per cent of employees reporting they are given the autonomy they need to get on with their work, reflecting a degree of trust for employees to take initiative and use their own judgement.

The research also revealed 62 per cent of employees felt extremely dedicated to their work and their company which is good news for organisations that have weathered the difficult economy over the past years.

This new ANZ research has proven extremely insightful for Hay Group supporting their long term research into the six key dimensions of the work environment that directly contribute to an energised work climate including flexibility, responsibility, standards, rewards, clarity and team commitment. Of these in Australia three were found to be the greatest gaps between the actual and the desired work environment; clarity; standards and rewards.

1. Clarity: The largest gap between the ‘actual’ and the ‘ideal’ when it comes to the employee’s view of the organisational climate is in the dimension of clarity. Clarity has two aspects for employees – the first is how well an individual understands how their role relates to ‘the big picture’, the goals and direction of the company; and the second aspect is how well do they know what is expected of them in the role. If someone is unclear about what is expected of them in their role, how can they deliver? Only by understanding what their role is and what is expected, can an employee actively drive and achieve the broader company purpose.

2. Standards: Managers can establish high standards of performance and work behaviours in their teams by involving team members in suggesting, setting, reviewing and amending individual and team goals. People perform at their best when they are encouraged to improve their performance and aim higher to reach challenging yet achievable goals. When an organisation and its leaders have a vision for improvement and bringing out the best in people, this provides the inspiration and drive for employees to turn vision into reality.

3. Rewards related to performance: It is critical for managers to give consistent, constructive feedback to individuals and the team in order to ensure that all team members know what high performance looks like. The recent research showed that providing feedback and coaching to employees wasn’t part of the behavioural repertoire of many ANZ leaders with many managers finding it difficult to address performance, either positive or negative, as well as providing developmental feedback to their staff. Managers need to start introducing reward engagement practices in to the workplace in order to motivate their employees to deliver stronger performances day in and day out.

The six dimensions of organisational climate

1) Flexibility - There are no unnecessary rules, procedures, policies, or practices. New ideas are easily accepted.

2) Responsibility - Employees are given authority to accomplish tasks without having to constantly check for approval.

3) Standards - Challenging but attainable goals are set for the organisation and its employees.

4) Rewards - Employees are recognised and rewarded for good performance.

5) Clarity - Everyone within the organisation knows what is expected of him or her.

6) Team Commitment - People are proud to belong to the organisation.


Notes to Editors
Please note: this study should be credited to ‘global management consultancy, Hay Group’, and not ‘Hay’ or ‘Hays’, which are separate and unrelated organisations.

About Hay Group
Hay Group is a global management consulting firm that works with leaders to transform strategy into reality. We develop talent, organise people to be more effective and motivate them to perform at their best. Our focus is on making change happen and helping people and organisations realise their potential.

We have over 2600 employees working in 85 offices in 49 countries. Our insight is supported by robust data from over 100 countries. Our clients are from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, across every major industry. For more information please contact your local office through

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