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HRNews – 21 Mar 2024


HR managers, it’s time to ditch your rose-coloured glasses. You might think that 7.9 out of 10 of your employees are fully engaged. However, according to the Workplace Engagement Index, only 6.2 out of 10 employees reported feeling truly engaged…there’s obviously a perception gap. 

What retains employees? In a surprising twist, what keeps employees onboard isn’t just the wellbeing buzzword. Imagine a team buried under tasks and tight deadlines. Without manageable workloads, no wellness program can prevent progress from stalling or potential from being wasted. 

In Mercer ‘s 2024 report, HR leaders hailed well-being programs as a top-tier strategy, placing them within the elite top 4 reasons employees stick around. Interestingly, when employees were asked about what matters most to them in the workplace, well-being landed at the 12th spot on their list, defying expectations.

Even after Australia introduced Psychological Safety Legislation in April 2023, many companies have merely checked it off their list without real commitment. An Indeed survey reveals a stark increase in burnout, from 43% to 52% since COVID-19 began. Mercer ‘s reports confirm that sustainable workloads are essential to prevent burnout, affecting 23% of employees. The message is clear: employees thrive in environments where their workloads are realistic, and their well-being is genuinely supported.


Wage growth typically increases when unemployment rates are low. However, despite Australia’s unemployment rate reaching a nearly 50-year low, workers still struggle to benefit from this advantage and receive higher wages. This is mainly because wage growth is driven by the pressure in the labour market (ABC News 2023).

Recently, there has been some good news for Australia’s economy. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)  reported on February 21, 2024, that wage growth has finally surpassed inflation for the first time in three years. During the December quarter, wages increased by 4.2% year-on-year, higher than the figures we saw in September. The last time annual wage growth exceeded annual inflation was in the March quarter of 2021.

But this positive development is just a starting point. Despite the recent increase, the journey to regain lost real wages remains ongoing. There is still a significant cost-of-living crisis, and real household incomes are not expected to return to their pre-pandemic levels until 2027 (Australian Treasurer MP Jim Chalmers).

It’s important to remember that healthy wage growth is typically a result of low unemployment rates. Although Australia’s unemployment rate has hit a near 50-year low, workers still struggle to leverage this advantage for higher wages (The Guardian, 2024). This is mainly because the pressure in the labour market drives wage growth. 


It’s time to bridge the gap between perception and reality regarding employee engagement. Here’s where the Scout Survey becomes a game-changer: you can understand what truly motivates and engages employees. The Scout Survey is not like anything else on the market, and it’s the key to unlocking the full potential of your workforce with its ability to provide in-depth insights into a candidate’s personality, work ethic, and how they fit into the team dynamics.

Imagine having the ability to predict how well a new hire will gel with the team or understanding the subtle nuances that make your team tick. That’s the power of the Scout Survey. It brings depth to your hiring process, ensuring you’re not just filling positions with top talents but creating a balanced, cohesive team where each member’s unique skills and personalities contribute to a thriving workplace environment. It’s not just about keeping up with the trends; it’s about setting a new standard for understanding and supporting our employees.


  1. AGL links office attendance ‘expectations’ to performance reviews in WFH policy
  2. ABS: Seasonally adjusted Full-time (0.8%) and Part-time (0.9%) employment increases in February.
  3. MIT: Return-to-Office Mandates: How to Lose Your Best Performers

  4. HR manager criticised for “knee-jerk” reaction to criminal record discovery

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