In the news – Australian workers craving inspiration

Australian workers craving inspiration

Human Capital Magazine – 01/09/11

Australian workers are crying out for inspiration and looking to their leaders to provide it, according to an annual investigation into the world of Australian workers by recruitment and HR specialists, Randstad.

Randstad’s 2011 World of Work report found nearly half of Australian employees (48%) rate the ability to motivate and inspire as the single most important attribute of a successful leader. However, more than a third (37%) rate their direct managers as poor or average in this capacity.

A convincing 69% of employees say their leaders have adapted well to change in the past 12 months, but Randstad CEO Fred van der Tang said this is no longer a priority, with only 12% of employees rating the ability to adapt as the most important attribute of a successful leader.

“Business leaders in Australia have performed exceptionally well during a period of great economic instability, adapting to change and adeptly guiding their organisations through uncertainty. As business conditions slowly improve, leaders need to change their tack accordingly,” said van der Tang.

“In order to ride the next wave of growth, leaders must shake off the pragmatic approach many found necessary during the downturn, and refocus their energies on inspiring and motivating their people.”

One in five workers (22%) say having a strong understanding of how their role contributes to achieving organisational goals is the single biggest motivator affecting their performance. A further 8% say having a strong belief in the strategic vision and goals of their organisation is paramount.

“This means nearly a third of all employees are motivated by an organisation’s vision – underlining the importance of ‘big picture thinking’. Often executives and managers do not realise the profound effect their words and actions have on their employees,” added van der Tang.

“Leaders who are able to effectively communicate their organisation’s strategic direction can have a massive influence on employee engagement levels. Employees want to feel their efforts are not only directly contributing to a vision, but that the vision is authentic and inspiring – something they can work towards and feel good about.

“As the economy continues to strengthen, executive and managers who are able to engage their people by articulating a strong and inspiring vision will reap tremendous rewards.”

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