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Unlimited Magazine's Best Places To Work In NZ

November 27, 2000

Unlimited Magazine's Best Places To Work In New Zealand Named

3,400 staff surveyed on what they think of their place of work Sixteen organisations have been named as winners in Unlimited magazine's inaugural Best Places to Work in New Zealand awards, sponsored by Haines Recruitment Advertising. Around 100 organisations put themselves forward to go through a two stage process to determine the final sixteen. Amongst the winners are a Canterbury based sawmilling company, a website development company, a major multinational insurance firm, a shipping company and a crown agency. The winners list is attached.

The key to a great place to work

So what actually makes a great place to work? The survey found that, number one, people like to be associated with success. Over and again the primary reason staff gave for liking their company was not money, not perks, not the comfy chairs - people like to work for a successful organisation that genuinely cares for the well-being of its people. "The thing about becoming an employer of choice is that it can't be gimmicky," says survey organiser John Robertson. "People aren't stupid, and they can see through copy-cat 'flavour of the month' attempts to win their loyalty. Commitment and loyalty must be earned by company actions that are values-driven. If a company is truly committed to the values of, for example, 'putting people first' then its HR policies and practices must reflect this consistently, right across the board."

Increased staff retention translates to cost savings

Another revealing result is the fact that nearly all of the 16 organisations that made it to the top of the Unlimited Best Places to Work survey have, by their efforts to improve the attractiveness of their workplaces, lowered their attrition rate, resulting in substantial cost savings to the organisations. Take Research Solutions Ltd, a market research company. While salary and benefits rated poorly, their staff turnover is only 7%. Why don't people leave more readily? According to Diane Dickinson, who has been with the company six years, starting out part-time while her son was small, and later moving into full-time research, it's because she can choose between working from home or in the office, and never feels pressured about having time off when her child is sick. From the survey results, other factors include flexible working hours, a fun atmosphere, and supportive supervisors.

The survey

In the first stage around 3,400 staff submitted responses to an online survey which asked them to rate their level of agreement with a wide range of questions covering their organisation, their job, leadership within the organisation, their colleagues and work practices of their organisation. In the second stage staff from human resource consultants John Robertson and Associates individually interviewed senior management from the top tier of participating organisations. This provided in-depth qualitative information which was used to determine the final sixteen. - ends -

The winning 16:
AMI Insurance Ltd
Computerland New Zealand Ltd
Deltec Telesystems International Ltd
FESCO Lines NZ Ltd
Glaxo Wellcome NZ Ltd
Holmes Consulting Group
Merck Sharp & Dohme (NZ) Ltd
Meritec Ltd (formerly Worley Consultants Ltd)
Quanta Systems Ltd
Research Solutions Ltd
Skill New Zealand
Sovereign Limited
Sytec Resources Ltd
Toyota New Zealand Ltd
WebMedia Ltd
Westco Lagan Ltd

The full results will be published in a feature article in Unlimited December, on sale November 27. A pre-publication copy may be requested from the editor. Contact: Vincent Heeringa Editor Unlimited Ph 09-302 8759 Mob 025 936 739 email John Roberston Director John Robertson and Associates Ph 09-307 2986 Mob 025 992 229 email

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