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Happy campers stay put

Employees are valuing a fun and engaging workplace more now than five years ago, while managers are seeking family friendly environments, the latest snapshot of what workers want from their employers reveals.

Leadership Management Australasia’s survey of what makes an employer of choice, or an organisation one of the most desired ones to work, has found employers need to stay on their toes to attract and retain the best workers.

LMA’s Leadership Employment and Direction Survey finds the desire among senior managers for family-friendly practices and an organisation that actively seeks input and feedback from staff is at its highest since 2010. Middle managers and non-managerial employees now want workplaces where managers are passionate and engaging to work with more than they did five years ago.

LMA Chief Executive Officer Andrew Henderson says the trend suggests that in tough economic times, when an organisation’s drive is to sustain or survive, the rest of a person’s life outside of work suffers most. “Workplace pressure is being felt in managerial ranks and is tending to ripple through to employee’s personal lives,” he says.

Henderson says in tough times, enjoying work and having fun is a coping strategy and helps the team “soldier on”.

The top two criteria were recognition/reward and investment in learning/ development, both important factors for workers since 2010.

MyBudget Client Relationship Officer Donna Marston says she enjoys the satisfaction she gets from helping clients and generally there is a positive, happy vibe around the office. “The company performs particularly well in providing positive reinforcement,” she says. “I find it is also very caring towards the people.”

Sue Newberry, MyBudget’s People and Culture Senior Manager, says with four children aged from 12 to 23, she appreciates its family friendly practices.
“We have many returning employees from parental leave and we encourage a staggered return to ensure our staff can ease back into work while juggling the complexities of family life,” she says. “I am afforded the flexibility to manage my work around my family commitments, so I can attend those important events in my children’s lives.”

Ranking in 2010 2012 2013
For employees
Recognises and rewards staff well 1 1 1
Invests in the learning and development of its people =4 3 2
Pays above average salaries and bonuses for excellence 7 2 3
Is a place where you can have fun and enjoy working 6 4 4
Management is passionate and engaging to work with 9 5 5
For senior managers
Invests in the learning and development of its people =2 1 =1
Recognises and rewards staff well =2 2 =1
Management is passionate and engaging to work with 4 3 3
Operates ethically and fairly at all times 1 =6 4
Has family/life friendly workplace practices 6 10 =5
Actively seeks input and feedback from staff 12 9 =5

Article taken from The Adelaide Advertiser newspaper, Saturday 20 September 2014