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Outward Bound awarded NZ’s best place to work

Outward Bound awarded New Zealand’s best place to work

Wellington, 23 February 2006 — Outward Bound has been awarded as New Zealand’s best place to work.

The adventure-based learning and development provider beat 200 other New Zealand organisations to take top honours in the unlimited/JRA Best Places to Work in New Zealand Survey 2005, announced last night in Wellington.

Over 23,000 employees were surveyed in Australasia’s largest annual employee satisfaction survey, now in its sixth year.

unlimited/JRA Best Places to Work survey provider John Robertson & Associates says Outward Bound was rated highest by its employees for leadership, vision, living by its company values, and success.

The company was also the winner of the small workplace category (less than 100 staff). It beat other finalists Flight Centre (winner of the large workplace category, 400 plus employees) and consulting firm BearingPoint (winner of the medium workplace category, 100-399 employees).

Unlimited editor Fiona Rotherham says one of the key factors giving Outward Bound the winning edge this year was the fact it had improved its performance index scores consistently in the past few years.

Four years ago the organisation had gone through major restructuring, was struggling to fill its outdoor education courses and there was a lot of tension between its school staff based in Anakiwa in the Marlborough Sounds, its Wellington administration team and its mainly Auckland-based board.

“CEO Trevor Taylor took the brave step of finding out what his staff were really thinking and each year has acted on that feedback to make the company the success it is today,” Rotherham says.

Taylor says Outward Bound’s success is due to the collaborative approach management and staff take to shaping the future of the organisation.

John Robertson says New Zealand businesses increasingly recognise the importance of workplace culture as a key determinant of attracting and retaining staff.

“The consistent message we get from New Zealand businesses is that their biggest challenge is attracting and retaining staff. Overwhelmingly, employees want to work for organisations that value their future, nurture personal achievement, are fun to work at, and encourage a sense of belonging,” Robertson says. “Employers who get these things right will be the winners in today’s tight labour market.”

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