Happiness and better conditions more important than money

Analysis

Happiness and better conditions more important than money

Australian workers value happiness and better conditions over money in their workplace, according to a new study.

Australian workers value happiness and better conditions over money in their workplace, according to a new study.

The Meaningful Work Insights 2019 study found:
  • 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
The study was commissioned by recruitment firm, Beaumont People.
 
Founder and CEO Nikki Beaumont, says the research should be a catalyst for change in workplaces. 
 
“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.”

Benefits for business

 
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 full report can be found here

The study was conducted by Dr Elizabeth Shoesmith and Dr Jill Rathborne from The Inclusive Foundation. They spoke to more than 1000 individuals and organisations across Australia.
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