Big bosses in New Zealand and Australia are mostly having a good time, but middle managers and workers are not.
That’s according to a new study of 2,400 people across both countries.
And that discord is hurting the ability to attract, retain and enable talent, management software company Qualtrics said.
Qualtrics’ 2023 Employee Experience Trends Report found a “concerning disconnect” in how executive leaders rated their own employee experience, compared to the teams they lead.
Qualtrics said more than 55 per cent of senior and executive leaders reported having their needs met at work.
But only a third of managers and junior-level employees were so satisfied.
Managers and junior-level employees reported lower levels of wellbeing, engagement and inclusion.
And they were also less intent on staying in the job.
Maybe unsurprisingly, executives and senior leaders were happier with pay than junior staff and managers were.
The Qualtrics survey was released the same day a Herald poll found readers regarded worsening inequality as the biggest factor undermining social cohesion.
And a survey of 1000 people by research company Dynata in late November showed 64 per cent of the public thought New Zealand society was becoming more divided.
The new Qualtrics survey said companies should do three things to close the gap at work.
The first was improving “onboarding and enablement” for new employees - in other words, having better induction and welcoming processes for new staff.
That was especially important in the first year of a new starter, according to Qualtrics.
“In Australia, intent to stay is lowest among employees who have been with their current employer for less than 12 months,” the study added.
The second priority, Qualtrics said, was making employee growth and development a priority.
It was important for staff to believe career goals could be met at their current employer, the survey added.
And thirdly, companies should keep honing and evolving workplace technologies, processes, and resources to improve employee wellbeing.
Working with inefficient systems was a big driver of burnout, Qualtrics said.
The study comes in the wake of broad debate this year about “the great resignation”, four-day work weeks and flexibility about working from home.
“Across the globe, employee expectations continue to evolve at a rapid rate,” Georgie McIntyre of Qualtrics said.
“Employees are restructuring their relationships with work, from scrutinising pay and benefits and reclaiming work-life boundaries, to seeking out organisations that actively demonstrate their values.”
Qualtrics said employers should focus on understanding what obstacles and friction points teams were running into.
“For organisations that do this well, the rewards will be significant,” McIntyre added.
The transtasman survey was part of a much broader study where Qualtrics interviewed 30,000 people worldwide.