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Entry and Advancement in the Australian Workplace

Categories: AustraliaWorkplace

An Australian Culture Overview

Australia is a vast island continent situated southeast of Asia. Australia is renowned for its natural beauty, multiculturalism, and diverse population. The country’s immense geographical variety has given Australia much of its character, creating a land of cultural fusion and enriching opportunity.

In order to fully comprehend the complexity of this nation, it is essential to gain an understanding into the underlying concepts of its culture. (Ref: Doing Business in Australia).

Official Name of Australia: Commonwealth of Australia

Population: 24.6 million(in 2017)

Official Language: English

Currency: Australian Dollar

Capital City and Why: Capital city of Australia is Canberra(Australian Capital Territory) because it’s a small city and sits between two major cities (Sydney and Melbourne).

GDP: Gross Domestic Product(GDP) was worth about 1.8 trillion USD in 2017.

GDP per Capita: According to Trading Economics and analysts expectations, Australia’s GDP per Capita to be 53,799.94 USD in 2017.

Inflation Rate: Year on year cost of housing spiked, so as per the recent survey Australia’s consumer price inflation moderated to 1.

9 %.

Unemployment Rate: According to recent survey held by Australian Bureau of Statistics(ABS), Australian unemployment rate stood at 5 percent in 2018.

Australia’s First Prime Minister: Sir Edmund ‘Toby’ Barton was an Australia’s first prime minister from 18 January 1849 to 7 January 1920.

Now identify your own country and provide answers to the Just for Facts below.

Official Name of your home country: Republic of India

Population: Based on recent survey, the current population of India is about 1.339 billion.

Official Language: As per constitution of India, there is no official language but “Hindi” is most widely spoken language.

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Currency: Indian Rupee

Capital City and Why: New Delhi is the capital city why because it was the centre for politics as well as finance during Mughal Empire time.

GDP: Gross Domestic Product in India was worth about 2.597 trillion USD in 2017.

GDP per Capita: According to our economic models, GDP per capita in India is about 1,939.61 USD (in 2017).

Inflation Rate: Compared to Australia, India’s inflation rate bit lower. The rate averaged 6.50 percent from 2012 to until now.

Unemployment Rate: Unemployment rate high in India according to official website of the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy(CMIE), there are currently nearly 31 million Indians are looking for jobs.

Your home country’s First Prime Minister/President: India’s first prime minister was Jawaharlal Nehru from 1947 to 1964 and Rajendra Prasad was first president.

True or False Activity


Read all statements below carefully. Place a tick in the appropriate column.

Statements True False

  • A sense of humour is important in the Australian workplace.?
  • A business letter should have a formal and concise introduction.?
  • Australians like to communicate informally.?
  • Socialising after work is not common in Australia.?
  • Managers dislike suggestions from staff.?
  • Levels of management are structured and strictly observed in Australia.?
  • Sport is a key discussion item in the Australian workplace.
  • Older people are often not chosen for jobs in the Australian workplace.
  • Women are not suitable for high pressure management positions in the Australian workplace.
  • There are laws that ensure equality in the Australian workforce.

Research Activity


Read the statement below carefully.

Form a group of 3-4 students to discuss the questions.

Write your answers in the space provided.

International students working in Australia often find the culture at work quite different from their own country. It is important to familiarise yourself with the cultural practices in Australia in order for you to be competitive in finding work and in performing well once employed.


Some of the most cultural characteristics of the Australian workplace are listed below:


Hierarchy and Leadership Styles

Work structure and Protocols


Small Talk

Using the criteria above research how the Australian Workplace implements each criteria in the workplace.


Communication is key aspect in Australian Workplace because it allows industries to be more productive and effective to building strong working relationships.

Ensure your communications should be clear and politely.

Humours, because Australian people have better sense of humour.

Sending e-mails to everyone to be involved.

Hierarchy and Leadership Styles

In Australia, leadership matters in different ways. It drives the development of organization abilities associating with meeting targets and performance related to profits. Moreover, Australian companies used flat organizational structures because staff often working in teams rather than independently.

Work structure and Protocols

Coming to structure, Australian companies are well organized and they maintain consistency throughout hundreds of branches.

Most of the organizations operate flat structure because it is developed to empower each and every staff member to making easier to communicate.


Australia is a diverse country so different ethnic groups of employees involved in companies making a great profitability and building a reputation.

Multiculturalism is very common in Australian workplace and diversity specific employee networks designed for staff to communicate, express their ideas, views and share information.

Small Talk

Small talk is a strange concept for foreigners at first because it is may not used in some countries but it is common in Australian workplace.

It is a polite conversation in workplace about unimportant matters such as sports, city events, pets and restaurants.

Consider your own culture and identify how it differs from these practices


Communications plays vital role in Indian workplace and most of the companies in India used open meetings because it is easier to communicate and share the information with your team.

Sending emails and connect via training.

Hierarchy and Leadership Styles

In most organisations in India used strong hierarchy at workplace, however top companies are used flat organisational structures same as western countries.

The manager makes decisions and accepts responsibility for work performed by subordinates.

Work structure and Protocols

. In India has a flexible and friendly working environment and work from home options are available in most of the companies.

Companies tend to be extremely hierarchical with a top-down management and most of the decisions are made at the top of an organisation.


Indian workplaces are as multi-region and one of the diverse countries in the world.

The major socio-cultural and demographic dimension of diversity in India, caste has always been a major source in society and therefore in organisations and religion is one of the key factor in most of the companies.

Small Talk

In workplace, people from India are not into small talk compare to western countries because they are much more friendly, treat you as a family or friend if you had met just once but they don’t know how to do small talk.I wish more Indians take forward this habit and make it a culture going forward in workplaces.

Case Study Instructions

Read the case study below carefully.

Provide answers to all the questions that follow.

We’re ambitious and we don’t brown nose

What Aussie workers are really like.

Deborah Burt says we’re no longer a nation of bludgers.

Australian workers are shedding their reputation of being a bunch of laid-back bludgers hanging out for beer o’clock. These days, we’re ambitious and we don’t brown nose to the boss.

A new survey challenges the stereotypical Aussie reputation that we’re a bunch of laid-back workers that like to bludge when the boss isn’t watching. Aussie workers actually prefer to work for managers who will push their limits and support them in their professional endeavours.

The 2013 Kronos Boss’s Day Survey also found that 77 per cent of Australian workers who have managers have not dished out compliments to get on the good side of their bosses if they don’t mean it, meaning we’re not brown noses.

The online study, commissioned by the Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated, also found we have strong career ambitions. Given the choice between a manager who is a high-achiever but demanding and a manager who is nice but ineffective, 71 per cent of employees want to work for the high-achiever.

In other feedback, Aussie workers rate honesty (76 per cent) as among the most important attributes of a good manager. Overall, the majority of employees who believe their manager demonstrates honesty alongside other attributes such as ethics, collaboration, creativity, empowerment, innovation, dedication and trustworthiness (89 per cent) believe their manager does this on a regular basis.

“The results from this survey challenge the stereotypical Aussie reputation of being a ‘relaxed’ nation. Results indicate most Aussies actually prefer managers who will push their limits,” Peter Harte, vice president, Asia-Pacific, Kronos says.

But managers that use an office jargon frustrate Aussie workers. As long suspected, staff hate it when managers use phrases such as “I don’t care, just get it done”, “think outside the box”, “at the end of the day” or “I need you to be more proactive”.

“It’s fantastic to see the majority of employees view their manager as honest, collaborative and dedicated – all very positive workplace behaviours. But it comes as no great surprise that the common phrases we use at work really don’t establish rapport between co-workers; in fact, they create tension. Employees want to work with people who can achieve great results, even if their management skills are a little rough around the edges,” Harte says.

Aussies workers may have been pigeonholed as bludgers in the past, but that label is completely undeserved in modern workplaces, says Deborah Burt, chair of the Execution Connection. Burt has held HR roles across various industries and says the conversation around the water cooler in Australian offices is very much about what makes a good boss and what makes a bad boss.

“My experience tells me that respect isn’t something you automatically get just because you’re in charge. You have to earn the respect of Aussie workers,” Burt says. We care about doing decent work and we expect managers to support our growth and development, she says.

“I also know that salary is not the most important part of a job for many workers. They actually want to get more growth and knowledge out of their workplace and make a bigger contribution where they can. Workers also want to get a feeling of motivation and drive from their manager,” Burt says.

In terms of recognition, 45 per cent of employees prefer individual praise from their manager to their face, while 28 per cent would prefer to be praised in front of their peers, while 27 per cent want praise to come from their manager’s manager.

When asked whether they’d prefer a manager who invests in their professional development or one who invests in programs to make the work environment more fun, Aussies are more balanced in their response, with 56 per cent opting for professional development programs, while 44 per cent want more fun. Interestingly, once we’ve clocked off, we don’t necessarily want to talk to the boss. If we see our boss outside of work, 34 per cent of young employees (18-24 years) will avoid them, compared to just 8 per cent of mature workers.

The survey was conducted online in Australia by Harris Interactive on behalf of Kronos between September 24-30 among 1041 adults aged 18-64, among whom 583 are employed and have a manager. 

What does the expression “brown nose” mean?

In Australian workplace, most of the Aussie people used slang word “brown nose” means try too hard to please someone specially in a higher position, in a way that other people find unpleasant.

Do you think Aussie workers are “laid back and like to bludge”, in your experience?

Yes. Aussie workers are laid back and like to bludge. They prefer not to work on the weekends and during the weekday, they work on the designated hours with many short breaks.

What are the most important qualities of a manager, according to workers?

The most important qualities that a team and a co-worker like to see in a manager is that a manager need to be non-biased and not be favourable. The manager should always support their team and listen to their problems.

Do Aussies have the reputation of being “relaxed” (lazy) workersDoes this survey match this reputation?

Yes, they do have the relaxed(lazy) personality when it comes to the workplace. They more likely to be relaxes whilst on work. They like to have small gossip and extended breaks too.

What are some examples of “management speak” that managers use, and do workers like it?

The managers in any firm play a very vital role. The main concerns of the managers in a firm is to run the operation smoothly and according to the owner’s requirements. Basically managers are being hire to pass on the instructions that comes from the management for the workers.

Do Aussie workers automatically give respect to managers?

No, Aussie workers not automatically respect their managers. It requires some good and valid reason for them to trust and respect their managers and get along with them.

What do many workers find most important in a job?

The most important thing according to the workers is a growth, respect and gaining knowledge. No matter the position of a worker is, these three things needs to meet the desire of the employee in a workplace.

What is more important to workers, professional development programs or a fun workplace?

According to most of the workers, professional development program is more important than a fun in workplace. Professional development program enhances their career and provides more opportunities in future.

Who conducted the studyIs it comprehensive?

It is a comprehensive online survey conducted in Australia.

Does the information in this article match your experience of work and managers in the Australian workplace?

Yes, the information in this article is match my experience and the relation with the managers too. At first it’s not easy to get adjusted in a place where we not use to of it. But time to time its come to a realization that how things work in a specific environment.

Assessment Performance Criteria

Elements Student Acknowledge Competent Not Yet Competent

Recognise individual differences and respond appropriately

Identify appropriate and inappropriate topics of conversation, and develop skills in small talk as a way to build relationships

Demonstrate understanding on how Australian cultural values influence workplace behaviour

Develop positive working relationships with colleagues and superiors, and apply standards of professional behaviour in the workplace

Cite this page

Entry and Advancement in the Australian Workplace. (2019, Nov 20). Retrieved from

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