Middle management, millennials and middle-income earners are the major problem with Australia’s increasingly less productive workforce, a study published this month has found.
As Australian small businesses continue to grow, owners are looking for ways to increase not only the productivity but also the engagement of their employees in the hopes to get ahead.
But the study of 2600 people across Australia conducted by SACS Consulting and Deakin University researchers, found SME owners will have to work hard to motivate middle management employees.
Andrew Marty, SACS Consulting managing director and the study’s principal manager, told SmartCompany middle management employees are the “meat in the sandwich”.
“We found that people in middle management have lower levels of autonomy than people above and below them on the salary scale,” says Marty.
The study found middle management employees get neither the gratification of delivery at lower levels nor the satisfaction of seeing their own strategies carried out at the top.
“Empowerment acts as a driver of engagement in employees, and in middle management they’re lacking just that,” says Marty.
In relation to salary ranges, the below chart outlines that those earning $70,000-$150,000 a year showed higher levels of disengagement, with the highest levels of engagement being those earning above $200,000 annually:
Looking at the productivity and engagement levels of sectors as a whole, health care service came out on top with primary industries coming in a close second.
“Health and care related sectors had high levels of engagement as they tend to attract those who have a high quality background and intrinsic levels of value suitable for their industry,” says Marty.
On the other end of the scale were state government employees and those in the fast moving consumables sector, with Marty saying these trends were found across all pay grades of state government employees.
The study referenced previous research that found an employee’s immediate boss has a 60% impact on their engagement and productivity.