IT firms 'best employers' - survey

IT companies appear to be some of the best employers in the land - providing five of 16 winners in Unlimited magazine's inaurgural Best Places to Work in New Zealand award.

IT companies are among the best employers in the land.

Unlimited magazine (published by Computerworld's publisher, IDG Communications) has produced the inaugural Best Places to Work in New Zealand award, with IT firms providing five of the 16 winners.

These were Computerland New Zealand, Deltec Telesystems International, Quanta Systems, Sytec Resources and WebMedia, which featured in last week's Computerworld.

Some 3400 staff rated 100 organisations who went through a two-stage process by HR consultants John Robertson and Associates.

The survey found people like to be associated with success, working for thriving firms that genuinely care for the people. Money and perks aren't everything.

"Becoming an employer of choice cannot be gimmicky," says John Robertson. "People aren't stupid and see through the copy-cat 'flavour of the month' attempts to win their loyalty. Committment 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."

The survey also reveals most of the best employers have improved their working environments and lowered staff turnover, resulting in substantial cost savings.

Software developer Quanta Systems has an active social club with competitive sports days and evenings with other organsiations. WebMedia has a football machine to help staff let off steam and also sent staff on a week-long R&R break at a Queensland health retreat.

Damien Toman, 34, consulting group manager for the reseller Computerland, has been there 11 years because he feels the company empowers people.

"There is lots of flexibility, openness and freedom, and that fosters a good culture," he says.

While staff at Deltec Telesystems rate their company worst for overall salary and benefits, they believe in what the firm is doing and like the freedom and flexibility they receive to do their jobs. Consequently, it claims staff turnover of below 5%.

The survey was completed online and for a publication which predomantly favours IT businesses, so this might create some bias towards IT firms in the survey, says Robertson.

"However, a number of them were shown to be damn good employees and that is encouraging. They seem to be right up there in terms of innovative approaches," he says.

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