find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
WorkChoices killing loyalty

WorkChoices killing loyalty

THE FEDERAL Government’s WorkChoices system is fuelling dwindling employee engagement and loyalty, according to an employee retention expert. As Australian companies increasingly move to…

THE FEDERAL Government’s WorkChoices system is fuelling dwindling employee engagement and loyalty, according to an employee retention expert.

As Australian companies increasingly move to WorkChoices and issue AWAs, the industrial relations regime is severely undermining trust and severing the emotional bond that employees feel towards their employer, Colin Walter, director at BSI Consulting said.

“There has rarely been a policy that is more counterintuitive and in opposition to demographic and social trends than WorkChoices,” he said.

“What message do they send their valuable employees if they strip them of penalty rates, sick leave entitlements or overtime pay? If they become expendables and commodities in the eyes of their HR managers, why should they treat the company any differently?”

A shift in employee needs from intrinsic factors such as remuneration and career opportunities to a sense of purpose, personal fulfilment, autonomy, participation and work-life balance has been underway for some time, he added.

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Joe Hockey, said the majority of businesses value employee commitment and direct engagement with employees is one of the top benefits of the government’s WorkChoices system.

However, recent research from BSI revealed that while the majority of Australians are highly motivated to do whatever necessary to get their jobs done (91 per cent), this does not correlate with levels of emotional engagement.

More than 26 per cent of respondents claimed they were not emotionally involved with the problems or strategic choices of their company, while 23 per cent said the company had no personal meaning for them.

Australian companies are also in danger of losing their employees with low levels of commitment and loyalty, as almost half (46 per cent) felt they did not owe their company anything and would leave for a better offer.

According to Hockey, the findings of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publication Forms of Employment, November 2006, released in April, refuted the idea that that employee engagement and loyalty was at an all time low because of WorkChoices.

“Job stability has remained broadly unchanged and in some areas strengthened,” he said.

The ABS found that almost 90 per cent of employed persons said they expected to be with their employer/business in 12 months time.

In order to recover from what he called “retention deficit disorder”, Walter said companies should change the underlying vision, beliefs and values that are held by senior and HR management about their employees.

Trust and mutual commitment must be restored to undo the damage created by WorkChoices, he said.

“It will take time to recreate trust that a short-sighted focus on profitability at the expense of well-being and fairness has destroyed.”

However, with performance review season kicking off, the need to focus on the individual as well as the organisation and overall strategy is essential, according to Katherine McLennan, leadership and team practice leader at Mettle Group.

She warned against the recent hype associated with mere ‘climate’ measures, highlighting that the culture of an organisation has become the all-important retention indicator.

Employees’ happiness is an important but not sufficient ingredient for executing the organisation’s strategy. As opposed to climate measures, culture indicators measure whether employees are receiving clear messages about how they are expected to behave,” she said.

“These behavioural expectations should be the behaviours that support the strategy and its execution, not so much how ‘happy’ employees are with their boss, their job or whether they are thinking of leaving.”

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

WorkChoices killing loyalty
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Nov 23 2017
Education a passion for YL president
Promoted by University of Melbourne. Melbourne Law Masters student Phoebe Blank is successfully j...
Crowd
Nov 23 2017
Anti-radicalisation programs playing ‘second fiddle’ to terrorism laws
Several academics have questioned the balance between Australia’s counterterrorism legislation and...
 William Ah Ket
Nov 23 2017
‘Bamboo ceiling’ thought piece wins inaugural law prize
A paper that explores the idea of affirmative action to achieve greater diversity among members of A...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...