Unlimited/JRA Best Places to Work Survey announces new sponsors

Dow Group and Rogen join Haines as family of three; survey database grows to 50,000; record participation forecasted for 2005 survey

New Zealand’s pre-eminent employee survey, the Unlimited/JRA Best Places to Work Survey, has launched its 2005 survey programme with the appointment of two new sponsors.

Property adviser Dow Group and Rogen New Zealand, a global business communications consultancy, have joined Haines as the family of three sponsors to help identify and celebrate New Zealand’s great workplaces.

Now in its sixth year the Unlimited/JRA Best Places to Work Survey is the largest and most robust measure of employee satisfaction in New Zealand. The 2004 survey captured responses from 17,000 employees in 161 organisations, taking the total number of employee responses to over 50,000 since surveying began in 2000.

John Robertson, head of workplace survey consultancy John Robertson & Associates, which has managed the survey since its inception, says the survey has captured the imagination of New Zealand businesses, which increasingly recognise the importance of workplace culture as a key determinant of attracting and retaining talent.

“The link between business performance and the satisfaction and fulfillment of employees is widely recognised. By understanding key workplace drivers and measuring them over time, organisations can build a picture of how they stack up, render clues about what needs to change, and monitor the impacts of those changes.”

The company is expecting over 200 organisations to participate in this year’s survey, which will be conducted between July and September.

Dean Croucher, managing director of property advisory firm Dow Group, says the right physical environment plays an important role in shaping employee perceptions of their workplace. “The physical work environment goes to the heart of how employees feel about their workplace. Much has been said about factors relating to human resources, corporate identity and culture, but organisations can’t ignore the right physical workplace as a determinant of achieving broader business objectives.”

The 2005 survey will select the top 10 performers from three business categories, defined as small (less than 100 employees), medium (between 100 and 400 employees), and large (more than 400 employees). An overall winner will be selected from category winners, with factors like response rates and demographic considerations also factored into overall performance.

Sandy Hollis, managing partner of Rogen New Zealand Ltd, says New Zealand businesses are latching on to the bottom-line importance of attracting, retaining and developing quality people.

” We’ve been working with many successful local and international organisations to help them address exactly the issues that the survey shows are critical to becoming a great place to work. Measurement is the starting point for building a clear view of where businesses need to be and how to get there.”

In addition to receiving an online employee survey report for their own organisations, participants will get to benchmark their results against what is New Zealand's most comprehensive database of employee attitudes and opinions.

Robertson says participating organisations enjoy many spin offs. “Participants get the measuring tools and benchmark data which helps them to better understand the relationship between workplace drivers and business performance. They will get to identify the workplaces drivers that offer the greatest leverage for performance improvement. The analysis provides customers with a window into culture and how it affects the business bottom-line.”

Unlimited Magazine’s Ben Gibb says: "The consistent message we get from New Zealand businesses is that their biggest challenge is attracting and retaining staff and leading them effectively. The potential for this survey is huge, not just in terms of celebrating great workplaces but also great leadership. I'm very pleased to announce the appointment of our three sponsors for 2005 and I'm certain this will be another big year of growth for the survey."

David Wilson, managing director of recruitment advertising company Haines, says understanding workplace drivers will benefit the whole industry. “In the current environment talent attraction and retention are key focuses. The Unlimited/JRA Best Places to Work Survey provides industry stakeholders with the opportunity to tune into what makes workers tick and grab onto the important things that will make the biggest difference to their HR assets.”

For more information or to register go to http://www.johnrobertson.co.nz/bestplacestowork/

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