What do employees want from Aussie businesses? Recognition and rewards

- February 19, 2024 2 MIN READ


The inaugural Workplace Engagement Index by Reward Gateway has dropped, and it’s revealed a gap between employee and employer perceptions, with close to half of employees feeling undervalued by businesses.

When it comes to employee experience, 79 per cent of HR managers believe their employees receive consistent recognition, yet only five in ten (53 per cent)  of employees agree. So what’s going wrong in the reward and recognition process?

According to employees, a lot! More than six-in-10 (61 per cent) employees do not frequently feel recognised in their workplace, while almost two-thirds (65 per cent) don’t feel their relationship with their employer is appreciative. This is leading to many employees re-evaluating their situations, with 35 per cent citing ‘a lack of recognition’ as a reason why they are looking for another job – something that takes on extra significance when you factor in that 56 per cent of Australians have considered leaving their job in the last six months.

Kylie Green, Managing Director, APAC for Reward Gateway, says fostering engaged and productive employees is essential to winning business culture, and any business that wants to retain staff needs to pay attention to the survey results.

“Recognition and rewards are vital to maintaining high levels of productivity and preventing disengagement,” the MD states.

Green says the disconnect between employee and employer perceptions highlights the importance of aligning recognition practices with employees’ expectations. In order to foster a culture of appreciation and retention, Green says there is a need for proactive measures.

“Employers must bridge the gap in priorities to prevent disengagement and turnover.”

Empowering managers emerges as another critical aspect of enhancing productivity. The index indicates that 83 per cent of employees feel more motivated and productive with supportive leadership. However, many managers lack the necessary support and training to fulfil their roles effectively.

“Investing in manager enablement is essential for fostering positive relationships and driving productivity,” Green says.

Employee concerns

Financial concerns are also further impacting employee wellbeing, with 81 per cent of staff expressing worries about inflation and rising living costs. The finding indicates prioritising initiatives that support employee financial wellbeing could prove to be successful.

Meanwhile, flexible working arrangements continue to be crucial for employee satisfaction, with 57 per cent reporting increased productivity and motivation with remote or flexible schedules. Additionally, the index highlights the importance of a healthy work-life balance, with 67 per cent of employees considering it a must-have.

“We know that engaged and productive employees are the lifeblood of every successful organisation and that recognition and rewards are crucial to keeping productivity high,” said Green.

“If employers do not make significant efforts to bridge the clear disconnect gap in priorities, they will run the risk of further disengagement and, ultimately, employees leaving,” Green concluded.

Want more? Get our newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! Follow Kochie’s Business Builders on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Now read this

Want to be a top employer? 3 ways businesses can lift employee satisfaction and retention