The modern workforce in Australia is experiencing some seismic changes, with a rapidly increasing proportion of millennial workers and near parity in gender composition. This new profile is driving a fundamental change in employee expectations, with many looking to change their work hours, work from home or have flexible schedules in order to accommodate individual preferences.
Company culture is coming into greater focus, with an increasing number of workers (particularly younger generations) seeking people-centric organisations that actively support and engage their employees through a broad range of initiatives. Work is no longer seen as a transactional relationship but an opportunity to satisfy needs like self-fulfilment, belonging and purpose.
As a society, our value systems are changing and Australians are beginning to realise that aspirations rooted in wealth creation generally don’t lead to a fulfilling life. This is highlighted by recent research that suggests Australian job seekers place more importance in a company’s attitude towards work/life balance (or better termed, work/life integration) than better compensation.
In response to these changing demands, Australian companies must continually adapt their structures to remain attractive to current and prospective employees. Many, however, are slow or unwilling to confront these new realities.
89% of employers believe that employees stay or leave primarily due to monetary concerns. A survey of almost 20,000 workers from eighteen industries, however, reveals that a staggering 80 to 90 percent of employees leave for reasons not related to money, but to the job, the manager, the culture or the work environment.
In other words, they’re just not that into you!
For organisations that have invested in comprehensive workplace culture and wellness initiatives, the results are convincing. Contrary to commonly held beliefs, quantifying correlations between health and social initiatives and KPIs is both possible and informative. In many instances, KPIs can further be linked to quantifiable financial outcomes.
A recent study was conducted on workplace wellness programs (covering 72 research papers) to identify a common set of tangible business benefits for organisations that had implemented in-house programs. In almost all cases, intermediate benefits (e.g. absenteeism, presenteeism, etc.) were clearly established and many were further linked to financial outcomes in the form of increased revenues or reduced costs, leading to a healthy return on initial and ongoing investment outlays.
The study also highlighted some impressive statistics on calculated ROI based on both initial and ongoing program outlays. Organisations calculating benefit-cost ratios (which measure the financial return for every unit of cost expenditure) measured results ranging from 2.3 to 84.9.
The concept of work-life integration is clearly no longer an unsubstantiated rhetoric. Rather, enabling employees to strike a sustainable balance between their work and non-work endeavours and commitments is an increasingly critical facet of an organisation’s business strategy. Companies with an ability to adapt and meet the growing demands of the modern workforce will be rewarded with a distinct “human capital” advantage over competition and a robust foundation from which to succeed in their core business activities.
Ethos Pty Ltd is an Australian startup which is transforming the workplace through its cutting edge solutions for managing employee wellbeing and engagement initiatives.
The company’s Work-Life-Connect™ program supports organisations in fostering engaging cultures that actively promote positive health, wellbeing and social values amongst staff. Built around an innovative web platform, Work-Life-Connect™ combines a range of online and offline mechanisms to engage with staff, maintain control over company culture and streamline the coordination of health-promoting and social activities.
Working with a wide range of industry-leading corporate partners, Ethos takes the stress out of creating and sustaining positive employee engagement. All of our tailored services are designed to maximise impact and demonstrate positive ROI, creating mutual benefit for both our customers and their employees.