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Only 1 in 25 Aussies thinks money is most important factor for work

New research has shown that Australians overwhelmingly place more value on happiness and better working conditions than they do their pay cheques.

Only 1 in 25 Aussies thinks money is most important factor for work
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The Meaningful Work Insights 2019 study, which surveyed more than 1,000 individuals and organisations across Australia, found that 96 per cent of Australians see factors other than most as being “most important” in trying to achieve meaning and happiness at work.

Almost all respondents (98 per cent) said meaningful work is important, 88 per cent want their employer to care about wellness issues, and 97 per cent of Australians want downtime and balance outside of work.

The research was commissioned by leading Australian recruiter Beaumont People and conducted by Dr Elizabeth Shoesmith and Dr Jill Rathborne from The Inclusive Foundation.

Beaumont People founder and CEO Nikki Beaumont said that the research “helps us understand what meaningful work looks like for Australians and how organisations can begin to integrate these factors into their HR practices”.

“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,” she said.

“Only 4 per cent 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.”

“When people are engaged in meaningful work, we do better, we are more productive, and we stay in jobs longer. If that’s not motivation for employers, I don’t know what is,” she said.

Carolyn Butler-Madden from The Cause Effect agreed that meaningful work is becoming more important when considering employment choices.

“Work for me is about more than just a job or even a career; it is the main way that I can contribute,” she said.

“My career is an important part of who I am and impacts on how I see myself in the community. Of course, money is important, but it doesn’t lead to fulfilment – ultimately, it’s more important to me to enjoy the work I do and know that it has real value and substance.”

Ms Beaumont added that 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.”

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy is a senior writer for Lawyers Weekly and Wellness Daily at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in early 2018, Jerome is admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales and, prior to joining the team in early 2018, he worked in both commercial and governmental legal roles and has worked as a public speaker and consultant to law firms, universities and high schools across the country and internationally. He is also the author of The Wellness Doctrines self-help book series and is an adjunct lecturer at The University of Western Australia.

Jerome graduated from the University of Technology, Sydney with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Social Inquiry).

You can email Jerome at: [email protected] 

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