Workforce commitment lacking: survey

UNDUE focus on cost-cutting and downsizing is leaving Australia with a largely uncommitted workforce, a survey of nearly 500 senior executives has found.

The Drake Consulting study sought to find whether employees had what it takes to deliver a company’s goals. The short answer is – they don’t.

The results revealed that not only are companies ineffectively resourced and their staff inappropriately skilled but that as many as 66 per cent of the workforce is either marginally or totally uncommitted to organisational values.

Drake Management Consulting senior consultant Helen Ormond said: “When we talk about values, we’re talking about the work culture attributes that guide decision-making, work activities and employee behaviour”.

“It’s about treatment of customers and their commitment and motivation to furthering the aims of their respective organistions,” Ms Ormond said.

She said no matter how skilled or qualified employees were, if they lacked the necessary commitment to company values and strategic direction, they would never perform to expectation.

“You can train people in technical competencies and restructure your workforce to achieve the right mix of temporary and permanent roles but to get your staff motivated requires a lot more,” Ms Ormond said.

“Employees need to understand their objectives and why these are critical to the company.

The Drake results showed commitment to values rested chiefly in the upper echelons of organisations, with the greatest level of commitment coming from company executives and managerial staff.

The lowest commitment was found in operations and administration where there is scope for almost 70 per cent improvement.

However, even among executives it was found that 43 per cent needed to lift their commitment game.

“While one would expect the values message to become more diluted the further one moves from top management, it is disappointing to learn that just under half our executives are thought to have little understanding of what makes their organisation tick,” Ms Ormond said.

“This says little for the leadership of corporate Australia and how leaders are relaying their message to the troops,” she said.

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