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Analysis of 14 million employee survey comments highlight the latest trends in employee expectations, and how to get ahead of them.


SYDNEY (March 10, 2020) // Today, Peakon, a global employee success platform, released its inaugural 2020 Employee Expectations report. With nearly 63% of Australian employees feeling disengaged as of January 2020[1], the report reveals what employees expect from their employers in 2020.

By analysing more than 14 million employee survey comments, Peakon found that topics relating to the environment and climate change rose sharply in importance among Australian employees, followed by diversity and inclusion, flexible working and employee wellbeing. 

Climate action – Australian employees have taken the charge on climate action. Mentions of climate-related terms increased across all countries analysed, but the sharpest growth was seen across Australia with a 220% increase in employee comments. The local increase is double that seen in the UK (85%), and almost five times that of Germany, where concern grew by 42% in the last 12 months.

  • In Australia, 48% of comments about climate change were of negative sentiment, whereas 18% of comments had a positive sentiment overall.
  • Globally, comments about environmental issues increased by 52% in 2019.
  • Globally, the number of employee comments about the environment increased by 128% among Generation Z workers, followed by Millennials and Baby Boomers with 62% and 59% increases, respectively.
  • Globally, employees in the manufacturing sector were among the most vocal on climate change in the past year, with a huge increase of 595% in climate-related terms year-on-year. Manufacturing’s growth was followed by the Consumer industry (up 106%) and Professional Services (up 79%). The spike in climate change comments among manufacturing employees meant it went from being one of the least vocal sectors on the topic in 2018 to one of the most in 2019. 


Luke Amundson, Peakon APAC Director commented: “Australia is only just emerging from its recent devastating bushfire season, and many employees will have been touched by in some way. As a new reality hits home, employees are looking to their workplaces to take the lead, and take action, on the important issues impacting their lives. It’s vital that organisations listen to their workers’ needs and feedback, and ensure they’re doing what they can to meet their team’s expectations.”

In addition to climate action, global employees were also vocal about Diversity and Inclusion, flexible working and employee wellbeing. 


Diversity and Inclusion – Compared with colleagues across the ditch, diversity and inclusion isn’t such a hot topic. While New Zealand saw a 44% YOY increase in mentions, Australia increased by just 16% in the same period.


Globally, there was a 19% YoY increase in the number of diversity and inclusion related terms analysed. In particular, the Silent Generation (those born between 1928–1945) saw a spike of 31%; discrimination and bullied were some of the highest-ranking terms they mentioned.


Flexible working – Globally over the past year, employee comments featuring flexible working-related terms increased by 18%, with terms such as ‘WFH’ and ‘flexible work hours’ rising in prevalence. Those looking to work from anywhere, anytime, include Generation Z, among whom there was a 36% increase in discussion, with millennials not far behind (34%).

Wellbeing – Over the past year, employee mentions of wellbeing-related topics in survey comments increased by 17% (YoY) globally, and 9% in Australia.

“These shifts in employee expectations are being felt across all generations, industries and regions, with employees no longer feeling that they have to leave their personal lives at the office door. Businesses that don’t keep pace with these evolving trends will fail to connect with their most critical audience – their current and future employees. Boosting engagement is critical for those that want to remain a competitive workplace,” added Mr Amundson.


Download the full 2020 Employee Expectation report here, and read our blog post on the findings here.



The Employee Expectations report is based on global employee survey data from Peakon, spanning 80 million survey responses and 14 million survey comments across 160 countries.

The report looks at four emerging employee expectation trends, and examines the year-on-year growth for each between 2018 and 2019. In Australia, more than 298,000 employee survey comments were analysed.


Note on generations

To define each generation, Peakon used the guidelines defined by the Pew Research Center. The Silent Generation: Born 1928–1945. Baby Boomers: 1946–1964. Generation X: 1965–1980. Millennials: 1981–1996. Generation Z: Born in 1997 or later.



About Peakon

Peakon is an employee success platform that converts feedback into insights. It makes the employee conversation quantifiable and actionable to increase employee engagement – not simply measure it. Peakon’s core belief is that work should work for people, and with the largest data set of employee feedback in the world, Peakon provides customised benchmarks and personalised insights to support our mission of helping every employee drive the change they want to see. To date, Peakon has helped organisations like AIG, Aurecon, Adecco, Ricoh, EY make fundamental changes in how they operate to improve employee experience, driving greater business results.

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