Satisfaction among Australian employees has dropped to a 6 year low

Oli Scarff/Getty Images

That end-of-year office party didn’t work, nor did that staff lunch. Employees are still demotivated, not really keen to put much effort in and are looking around for a better opportunity.

Discretionary effort levels among Australian employees at the close of 2016 dropped to 19%, a fall of three percentage points and a six year low, according to data from CEB’s latest Global Talent Monitor.

CEB, the best practice insight and technology company, says employers need to address key concerns including development opportunities, manager quality and work life balance to avoid employees walking out the door this year.

Aaron McEwan, HR advisory leader at CEB, says managers must avoid mistaking employee dissatisfaction for end-of-year fatigue.

“Australian employees really value their lifestyle and rate workplace flexibility among their top priorities,” he says.

“In fact, Australian workers are happy to trade money for an organisation that supports their work/life balance needs.”

He says it’s worthwhile reminding employees of what they’ve achieved, linking their work back to organisation goals and explaining what they personally can accomplish in the year ahead.

McEwan recommends discussing with employees the following topics and goals to prevent disengagement.

  • What 2017 looks like

    Ensure there’s a clear picture of the opportunities for growth and adopt an always on strategy to career management, such as on-the-job learning and shared learning. McEwan says it’s important to discuss objectives so that expectations are set.

  • Be flexible

    “Australians crave flexibility and work/life balance — it’s consistently ranked the number one driver of attraction for workers,” says McEwan. Allow staff flexible hours to recharge batteries.

  • Manager capabilities under the microscope

    Understand what’s working and what’s not. “Give managers more time to spend with team members and provide the opportunity to have frequent and informal career pathing discussions to help improve work force morale,” says McEwan.

Australian workers are concerned with career opportunities and get frustrated by people management issues and the lack of development opportunities.

“Workers are acutely aware that the career landscape is changing and are keen to seek out growth experiences that will increase their market value,” says McEwan.

“The old adage that employees leave their managers, not their company remains true. Yet, the number one reason an employee will leave is a lack of career opportunities and development.”

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.