Who are the 13 best employers in NZ and Australia, and why do they make the effort?

Date: 05 Aug 2020

Author: Chris Radley

In a recent blog, I discussed some of the world's best employers and what they do to make themselves such desirable and engaging workplaces. This time, I'm going quite a bit closer to home and focussing on the 'why', not the 'what' of being a best employer.

Just to note, there are numerous 'best employer' surveys and awards around, but I've based this blog on the well-respected ‘Best Employers’ as determined by Aon and Kincentric (a talent-based business which until recently was part of Aon). 

What are the four things Aon Best Employers have in common?

Here's what the businesses and organisations who made Aon's 12 Best Employers list had in common:

  1. They all demonstrated high levels of employee engagement.
  2. They are agile.
  3. They have engaging leadership.
  4. They focus on talent.
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According to Stephen Hickey, Head of Culture & Employee Engagement, Asia Pacific & Middle East at Kincentric, as Best Employers, they all excelled in "navigating the most pressing people-related issues confronting organisations today." Hickey also noted that highly agile and adaptive workforces are "more likely to embrace change, innovate and meet the evolving needs of their customers."

So, who are these companies, and most importantly, what's the 'payoff' for their determination to be Best Employers?

Aon’s Best Employers for 2019 are:

  • BPAY
  • Carlisle Homes
  • Coca - Cola Amatil New Zealand
  • Colliers International
  • FedEx New Zealand
  • Four Square (Foodstuffs North Island Ltd)
  • MIGA
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • NTI (National Transport Insurance)
  • Peoplecare Health
  • Perpetual
  • Plush
  • Super Retail Group


Why is being a Best Employer so hotly contested?


While the list of Best Employers may change from year to year, the business benefits of being a great employer don't. So - what's important? Well, when you are a Best Employer:

  • Your employees stay with you longer (reducing recruitment, retention and replacement costs and efforts)
  • Your employees are more likely to go the extra mile for you (increasing productivity and value).
  • Your employees are more engaged! In fact, almost 200% more engaged than employees at other organisations!
  • Two-thirds of your employees are likely to enjoy effective collaboration between departments compared to only 50% in other organisations.
  • You're more agile, which has a significant impact on employee engagement, retention, and the bottom line.
  • Two-thirds of your employees say that your leaders provide a clear direction for the future compared to just 50% in other organisations. Your leadership teams connect deeply with your employees and demonstrate strong personal values.
  • Your employees love your approach to attracting and retaining great talent while focusing on the potential of employees.
  • And 23% of your employees are more connected to your mission and values when compared to other organisations.


Why it doesn't pay to be an average employer


Aon has been collecting data for the last 18 years on Best Employers - what makes them so good, and how their actions translate into financial benefits. The upshot is that Aon Best Employers financially outperform their counterparts – by a significant amount.

The bottom line is that they experience 86% higher sales growth and 71% higher operating income growth compared to 'average' companies.

And just sayin' – but if average isn't good enough for you, then neither is an everyday approach to employee engagement, your HR strategies, and your HCM and Payroll solution. As Tom Robbins said in his 1994 book, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas, “Mediocrity's a hairball coughed up on the Persian carpet of Creation.”

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