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Ground-breaking workplace study: Aussie workers value happiness and better conditions over money

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96% of Australians have rated factors other than money as ‘most important’ to achieving meaningfulness and happiness at work.
Aussie workers value trust of managers, culture of an organisation and work which makes a difference to broader society.
Australians least value pay, flexibility and complexity of work.
98% of Australians say meaningful work is important.
71% of Australians believe that meaningful work is more important today, compared to five years ago.
88% of Australians want their employer to care about their well-being.
97% of Australians want downtime and balance outside of work.

A landmark survey released today identified what Australians constitute as meaningful work and has found Aussies value happiness and better conditions over money in their workplace.

After speaking to more than 1,000 individuals and organisations across Australia, the Meaningful Work Insights 2019 study has uncovered what matters to Australians at work.

The research was commissioned by leading Australian recruiter Beaumont People and conducted by Dr Elizabeth Shoesmith and Dr Jill Rathborne from The Inclusive Foundation.

Founder and CEO of Beaumont People, Nikki Beaumont, says the integrated research is one of the first-of-its-kind and should be a catalyst for change in workplaces around the country.

“This research helps us understand what meaningful work looks like for Australians and how organisations can begin to integrate these factors into their HR practices,” she said.

“Australians overwhelmingly see work as an integral part of their identity, and so it’s no surprise that they are searching for meaning, not just money.

“Only 4% of Aussies rated money as most important, with the research showing what we’re looking for these days are good workplace relationships, a job that closely aligns with our personal values and one where we can make a difference.

“When people are engaged in meaningful work, we do better, we are more productive, and we stay in jobs longer. If that’s not motivation for employers I don’t know what is,” she said.

Carolyn Butler-Madden from The Cause Effect agrees that meaningful work is becoming more important when considering employment choices.

“Work for me is about more than just a job or even a career – it is the main way that I can contribute,” she said.

“My career is an important part of who I am and impacts on how I see myself in the community.

“Of course, money is important, but it doesn’t lead to fulfilment – ultimately, it’s more important to me to enjoy the work I do and know that it has real value and substance,” she said.

Ms Beaumont says the benefits for organisations are just as important.

“We have seen the dial shift where workplace culture and meaningful work rather than salary are becoming determining factors for career choices.”

“We know that if people are happy, they have higher engagement levels, lower withdrawal intentions, lower rates of absenteeism and an increased employee commitment to the organisation.

“And now we know that the thing that makes them happy has changed, it is for employers to derive how they should translate this into different HR practices and business models.”

The survey will be conducted yearly and will help Beaumont People establish a practical, user-friendly web app for both individuals and organisations to understand and measure meaningful work.

“That will help map the differences between individuals and their employees and how you close the gap to improve individual-organisational fit,” Ms Beaumont said.

“This is a win for both employers and employees, and the broader economy.”

The full report can be found here.

To find out more about Beaumont People, visit: www.beaumontpeople.com.au

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