Huge congratulations to Business Changing client Daniel Williams from Woods – they have just been awarded the highly regarded Best Employer status by Aon Hewitt.
123 companies from NZ and Australia entered the robust process – from that, only 16 made the cut. Just six New Zealand companies were awarded Best Employer status and the other five were big names: Z Retail, Z Corporate, Coca-Cola Amatil NZ, Chorus NZ, and FedEx NZ.
This is an exceptional result and a direct reflection of the effort that Daniel and his team put into making their workplace a great place to work – really good work, Daniel.
Woods now has 120 employees and wanted to use a third party (Aon) to give them the right metrics and benchmarks to determine how well they were doing with their employee engagement compared to other businesses.
The results? They achieved an engagement score of 93%, which put them at the upper end of the upper quartile of the best employers in Australia/New Zealand. They had an 83% participation rate in the employee survey and on each of the four measures of “talent management” they rated higher than the standard of Best Employers 2016: for employee engagement, aligned employer brand, effective leadership, and high-performance culture. Hugely inspiring stuff.
Below are a few ways they create engagement in the workplace, in case you can use any of them in your business:
• They retain a flat structure, with no HR or marketing departments. All directors are accessible, involved in projects and know everyone in the business by name. They encourage face-to-face chats over email or phone calls.
• There is no tolerance for bullying of any kind. The organization encourages diversity and expects their clients to respect this too – in fact, they let one major client go because of the way they continually treated Woods staff off site.
• They enjoy each other’s company. There is an active social club and every Friday Woods puts on beers and a BBQ.
• There is a real caring, “family vibe” at Woods. Staff are given the flexibility to take time off for things like children’s sports days or school camps.
• Likewise, they support their employees’ cultural and spiritual beliefs and interests. Employees are supported in observing their personal religious days or cultural events. This year they held an international lunch, where Woods paid for ingredients and employees proudly cooked up their national dish to share with their colleagues.
• Woods invest heavily on technology to give their employees access to the best tools to do what they need. “We like to think that we lead the pack in terms of acquiring and adopting the use of new and innovative technology.”
• They invest in team building, flying their staff in Christchurch up to be a part of it. Amazing Races, costume parties, meals out, gaming nights, epic Christmas parties, family days – Woods see social events as an investment in their people.
• They really support career development – in fact, there’s an expectation of it. To progress employee’s careers they offer career training, individual career path plans, give them access and exposure to the right projects and offer regular training at their in-house training space with specific providers. They even sit employees down with an independent knowledge accessor who tells them what they need to do next to get to where they want to be.