Achievers 2020 Culture Report Reveals One in Three Australian Workers Don’t Feel Recognised For Work


Achievers, the progressive choice for employee voice and recognition solutions that accelerate a culture of performance, found in their latest report that Australians surveyed are happy to help their employers through the COVID crisis, provided they receive recognition for their efforts. However, a third of Australian employees surveyed reported that they don’t feel they’ve received that recognition and some feel unsupported as a result, according to the 2020 Culture Report (1), an international survey by Achievers Workforce Institute, the research arm of Achievers.

Based on a responses from more than 1,100 employed respondents from the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia, the report finds that 40 percent of respondents globally don’t feel recognised for the work they’ve done during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Australia, one-third (34 percent) of respondents say more recognition would help them feel more supported.

Of the 217 Australian respondents polled, the results show that 58 percent of employees reported feeling “well supported” or “very well supported.” A further 28 percent felt “somewhat supported” while 15 percent believed they had been “not very supported” or “not at all supported.”

The report also finds a direct connection between receiving frequent recognition and employee engagement with those who have received formal recognition in the last week more likely to describe themselves as “very engaged.”

“Recognition and employee engagement typically go hand in hand, and these latest findings confirm that connection for Australian employees. In today’s uncertain times, weekly recognition is the gold standard,” says Dr. Natalie Baumgartner, Chief Workforce Scientist at Achievers. “Engagement should be considered business critical right now as Australian organisations continue to manage their way through COVID-19 and plan their restructuring and recovery efforts. Employees are key to that recovery, with engaged employees being more productive, committed and more likely to put in discretionary effort.”

Culture alignment – crucial for engagement – dropped during COVID-19

The report finds that culture alignment, the degree to which core business processes align with company values, is a crucial ingredient for engagement; however, most areas of alignment dropped during COVID-19. Many processes became less aligned, including strategic planning, professional development, and budgeting. The study did, however, uncover one area that became more aligned, being work flexibility. This is likely due to the sudden shift requiring that many employees work from home due to the risks related to the pandemic.

“Australians who work for organisations with a high level of culture alignment are more likely to report feeling supported through the pandemic, leading to higher engagement,” says Matt Seadon, General Manager - Asia Pacific at Achievers. “Research shows aligned organisations are more profitable and engaged employees are more productive. Australian businesses which go the extra mile to support and engage their workforces in these difficult times, can gain a powerful advantage.”

Use of “pulse” surveys predicts higher engagement

Most organisations survey employees once a year or less, but the 21 percent of organisations that are “pulse surveying” employees three times a year or more are seeing much higher engagement rates. These “pulse” surveys are usually shorter and administered more often, with faster turnaround times for taking action based on the results. This doesn’t mean that regular surveys alone are sufficient for driving engagement, but rather, it’s the pulse survey approach of quickly taking action on trending issues and making employees feel heard and valued.

Report Summary – Global Findings

  • Recognition remains an important predictor of engagement
    The more recently an individual received recognition, the more likely they are to be engaged. Almost half of respondents that were recognised in the past week were “very engaged,” compared to less than a third who received it in the last month and just 16 percent who received recognition more than a year ago.
  • Employees are more honest in surveys than talking to their managers
    Three-quarters (77 percent) of respondents say they are more likely to provide honest feedback in a survey than to their manager. This indicates that if companies want accurate, authentic feedback, they need to survey employees more than once a year because people leaders are not getting the full story from direct reports.
  • Individual values alignment predicts engagement
    Respondents whose personal values were very well aligned with their company’s values were five times more likely to report being engaged than those who were not aligned. This indicates that values alignment is a predictor of engagement.
    In fact, 59 percent of respondents whose values are “not at all aligned” with their company’s values report being “disengaged.”

For more information about the 2020 Culture Report and ways to improve employee engagement, download the report today:

About Achievers

Achievers’ employee voice and recognition solutions bring your organisation’s values and strategy to life by activating employee participation and accelerating a culture of performance. Achievers leverages the science behind behaviour change, so your people and your organisation can experience sustainable, data-driven business results.

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[1] The 2020 Culture Report study was an Internet-based survey conducted by Achievers Workforce Institute between May 27 and June 17. The sample size included 1,143 respondents.


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