35 Kiwi companies mix business with pleasure

  • Marketing
  • November 3, 2010
  • StopPress Team
35 Kiwi companies mix business with pleasure

Sick and tired of slaving away in your unsatisfying sweatshop? Well then, you've come to the right place if you're looking for something better, because, after almost 31,000 employees from 245 organisations across the country gave confidential feedback to rate their employers for the JRA Workplace survey, 35 finalists across the four categories have been announced, with notable performances in the marcomms sphere from PR shop Porter Novelli, signage and display company DE Group, directories service Gopher and news portal Yahoo!Xtra.

The employees responded to 60 questions grouped into categories such as culture and values, learning and development, reward and recognition, communication and co-operation. And the number of participating organisations in the 11th year of the survey was up from last year’s 216, making it New Zealand’s largest annual workplace climate-employee engagement survey.

Not surprisingly, Clemenger-owned (or, more accurately, Omnicom-owned) Porter Novelli were the first to crow about the accolade.

“We live and breathe the philosophy that our people are the key to our success as an organisation," says managing director Jane Sweeney. "As a result, we have created a vibrant, supportive team culture where we not only have a lot of fun but where employees are involved at all levels of the business and empowered to input into the company’s strategic direction. One of our other key points of difference is that we offer flexible working practices, including accommodating working mothers, offering the ability to work from home and being open to employees taking extended periods of leave.”

The 2010 finalists come in a range of shapes and sizes, from the small team of just 22 employees at Gopher business directory, to the 866-strong team at Warehouse Stationery. And they also come from all over the country, including small software firm ADInstruments in Dunedin, CORE Education from Christchurch and the South Taranaki District Council.

The region with most finalists, outside of Auckland and Wellington, is the Bay of Plenty with three locally based organisations: Footsteps Education, Brookfield New World and Sport Bay of Plenty.

For some organisations collecting feedback from employees was a national exercise, with larger firms such as the Retail Institute, Smith&Smith, AMI Insurance and Overland all having branches nationwide.

After taking out the Best in Show Effie for Whiskas, Mars New Zealand could be in line for a golden year as it returns for for its fourth time as a finalist this year after winning the medium-large category in 2008. Trade Me also made the cut. There are also also three not-for-profit organisations, Mercy Hospice, Presbyterian Support Northern and Southern Cross Health Societ, among the finalists.

JRA managing director John Robertson says it is encouraging to see a large number of organisations still entering the survey, and the high level of staff satisfaction, despite difficult economic conditions for some.

“The JRA Best Workplaces Survey gives employees the chance to have their say, and provides employers with some fantastic feedback on what is working and how happy and satisfied their people are. Finalists and winners rightly use their result to attract and retain the best staff and improve market perceptions of their organisation,” he says.

Small Workplace:

ADInstruments, Auckland Radiation Oncology, DE Group, Gopher, Inspire Group, Maven International, Porter Novelli, Redvespa Consultants, Sport Bay of Plenty and Yahoo!Xtra.

Small-Medium Workplace:

CORE Education, Crockers, Footsteps Education, Hyundai Motors, Mercy Hospice, Microsoft New Zealand, Obex Medical, Outward Bound Trust of New Zealand, Retail Institute and Roche Products (New Zealand).

Medium-Large Workplace

AA Insurance, Brookfield New World, FMG, Mars New Zealand, Overland Footwear, PSIS, Recreational Services, Smith&Smith®, South Taranaki District Council and Trade Me.

Large Workplace

AMI Insurance, The Fletcher Construction Company’s Engineering Division, Presbyterian Support Northern, Southern Cross Health Society and Warehouse Stationery.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony and dinner at the Langham Hotel in Auckland on Thursday, 11 November, where the Minister of Labour, Hon. Kate Wilkinson, will be guest speaker. For more information on the JRA best Workplaces Survey visit www. bestworkplaces.co.nz

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