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The Good Oil on Great Places to Work in Australia

The 2021 Great Place to Work list of the best workplaces in Australia, gave us a glimpse into the culture of organisations that choose to genuinely prioritise looking after their employees.

According to Samantha Huddle, the general manager of Great Place to Work “The best companies are those that have clarity on their values and can lean on them when they need to. The best care about their communities and their people. They trust their people”.

Unsurprisingly, trust featured highly as a metric and the report confirmed that when employees feel that they can trust their leaders, they repay the company with higher levels of commitment and engagement that shines through to the bottom line.

Being trusted and treated well at work has never meant more to people than during the COVID pandemic, says Michael C. Bush, the global chief executive of Great Place to Work.

You would think then that developing a trust mindset and creating strategies to demonstrate a culture of trust would be a no-brainer for companies wanting to become great places to work and employers of choice.

After all, that talent pool is not getting any bigger and every day that a vacancy can’t be filled – or worse, is filled by whatever we can get – is another unproductive day that costs money.

The future of work, jobs and skills was a core theme of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos last month, with 13 dedicated sessions.

At Davos 2022, Aiman Ezzat, CEO of technology consultancy Capgemini SE said “The workforce has become much more fluid, attrition rates in companies will increase because people move much faster from one company to another. The new generation want to decide what their future is going to look like.

We need to create a much more flexible, hybrid work environment that has a lot more empathy, caring for people. Less direction and telling them what to do, more enabling them.”

Some might say that the bigger the organisation, the harder it is to create that great culture we so often talk about. There is a real fear out there amongst executives that you can do ‘too much’ and ‘be too soft’ and end up with employees having the upper hand and taking advantage.

The 2021 Best Workplaces list is a great barometer for apprehensive leaders as it offers a laundry list of ideas when it comes to culture-strengthening initiatives that work.

Number 6 in the medium-sized business category with 311 employees, InfoTrack, outperformed other workplaces because 99% of staff said they were made to feel welcome when they joined the business.

What’s more, 97% of staff said the facilities contributed to a good working environment and 96% said they can take time off when they think it’s necessary.

Reinforcing the idea that anyone can do it, 4 of 5 companies in the micro business category (under 30 staff) are new to the 2021 list.

1. The Recruitment Company – 22 employees

2. Entourage – 17 employees

3. TrainTheCrowd – 21 employees

4. Atarix - 11 employees

5. Glaukos Corporation – 15 employees

Last year’s number 2 in the small business category was on the right track. Insentra co-founder and chief executive Ronnie Altit said “Culture is at the top of my list as CEO, it’s the number one thing I focus on.

We’re hyper-vigilant that if someone is happy and doing well, they know we know. And if someone is not happy or doing well, they also know we know.”

When asked what trends businesses need to get their heads around over the coming years, Sture Myrmell from Carnival Australia said “A key challenge for us will be to land our new way of working and to settle into a new routine that balances flexibility and productivity while maintaining culture.

Having genuine respect and concern for the overall health and wellbeing of team members is becoming more important than ever. Those organisations that get it right will benefit from loyalty and engagement.”

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