Employee satisfaction levels plummet as Google tops Dream Employer survey

Sad employee

Less than half of all employees are satisfied with their job, a new survey has found, with 45 percent of employed respondents intending to seek jobs elsewhere in the next 12 months and only 33 percent saying they’d recommend their employer.

The 2011 Dream Employers Survey, by Insync and RedBalloon.com.au, questioned over 7100 respondents from the general public and found Australians are more mobile and open to new job offers than ever before.

According to Insync Surveys CEO James Garriock, this is great news for head-hunters, but not so for employers.

Garriock said employees should be the biggest advocates for an organisation, helping attract new customers and talent. Organisations should be harnessing the word-of-mouth power of their passionate employees to powerfully impact their bottom line.

When it comes to reducing attrition, the survey revealed the biggest concerns for employees were processes with 41 percent of votes, communication with 39 percent and rewards and recognition with 38 percent.

According to Garriock, employees need to know their work is meaningful and connected to the organisations goals.

“Strong communication creates this link because people feel respected and empowered if they’re informed about things that matter to them.”

RedBalloon founding director Naomi Simson said it’s important to keep reward programs fresh to keep employees motivated.

“Rewards and recognition are vital in attracting, developing and retaining key talent, and having a great company culture and high levels of employee engagement will be crucial once the thrill of a fatter pay cheque has worn off.”

When it come to attracting employees, the top three drivers in 2011 were found to be pay, benefits and conditions with 38 percent of votes,  work/life balance with 37 percent, and culture with 36 percent. In 2010 the top motivation was brand or company reputation, however only 27 percent prioritised it this year.

In terms of retention, employed respondents claimed their main reasons to stay with their current jobs were work-life balance with 46 percent, culture with 39 percent, and pay, benefits and conditions with 33 percent.

According to Simson the findings reminded employers that cash rewards do not inspire loyalty.

“Non-monetary incentives have a higher perceived value and are 24 per cent more powerful at boosting performance than cash incentives…Keeping people engaged is about being treated fairly, granted autonomy, and the opportunity to learn and develop with a sense of purpose.

Simson said focusing solely on salary will bring greater staff turnover rates, reduced productivity from disengaged staff and more ‘badvocates,’ staff who not advocate for, but rather detract from your company’s reputation.

The top 20 Dream Employers of 2011 were Google, self employed, Virgin Group, Qantas, Apple, Microsoft, OMD, Walt Disney, BHP Billiton, Getaway, United Nations, police force, Vodafone, NASA, Rio Tinto, Department of Defense, Commonwealth Bank, Cadbury, Facebook and Lonely Planet.

New to the list in 2011 are NASA, Rio Tinto, Cadbury, the Police Force, the Department of Defense and Facebook, as Sydney Water, Coca Cola, eBay, Salmat and ABC dropped from the top 20.