Recent surveys show businesses that want to reduce employee turnover need to focus on promoting better staff relationships in the work place….(at least in Australia!)

Cooking Team Building for better employee retention

Cooking Team Building for better employee retention

I recently read an article in an Australian business publication quoting one ‘expert’ saying the Australian workplace is ‘over psychologised’; that ‘the Americans just focus on performance’, etc – as if that should be the rule here. Being an expat American and having worked a long time in both places, it seemed that couldn’t be right. So, I did a bit of research and found two very interesting surveys to help explain why team building is important to Australian companies versus their American counterparts.

The American Psychological Association’s (APA) “Workforce Retention Survey” asked some 1,240 workers to evaluate nine common reasons for staying with a current employer. Read more at Time.com: http://ti.me/14gSl1a

The Australian Institute of Management Victoria & Tasmania (AIM) surveyed about 2,220 business people across Australia. Read more at AFR.com: http://bit.ly/10Dsnls

Overall, while the top reasons are similar across the two surveys, there is a notably different relative importance.

Of the Australians who were staying in their current jobs, 67% nominated a “good relationship with co-workers” as a reason to stay. This ranked above “job satisfaction” (63%), “flexible working arrangements” (57%) and salary (46%).

In the APA survey, the results show a very different profile. Americans named “I enjoy the work I do” (67%) as a reason to stay. “Benefits” (60%) and “Pay” (59%) ranked third and fourth respectively.  For Americans, “my co-workers” (51%) ranked sixth.

And this is born out by experience. Our BDM, Laura Rogers shared about her time at a workplace where “the work was ok, the culture was ‘interesting’, HR was a minefield – but really what made it was the team I worked with, who I am still very close to and see regularly even now…”

Another interesting part of the story for Australians comes from the results of 11,000 exit interviews. The reasons that people leave a job are not the same as the reasons they stay, and this provides important insights. More on this in another post…

The key point here is, with businesses struggling to reduce employee turnover, focusing on team building to promote better staff relationships in the work place has great value…at least in Australia. Time to get your team cooking for team building and employee retention!