Best Employer citations not just a competition

by Cameron Edmond24 Jun 2013

The Aon Hewitt Best Employers in Australia and New Zealand Accreditation is well known to many employers. Yearly, a list of the Best Employers in the country is revealed, boosting staff morale, providing feedback to the organisations, and generating one heck of an employer branding tool – but what happens post- citation?

“Best Employers is not just a competition,” Stephen Hickey, principal of Aon Hewitt, said.

“The primary focus for organisations who work with Aon Hewitt to measure their level of employee engagement is to receive deep insight into the factors that are influencing their current engagement levels”.

All organisations that go through the Best Employer process are provided in-depth feedback by Aon Hewitt regarding their level of employer engagement and how it is impacting their workplace.

Aon Hewitt’s measurement for engagement rests on three employee behaviours: How much do they have to say – positively – about their company? To what extent do they intend to stay? How much do they strive to do more work than required?

The path to a highly engaged workforce is not an easy road, and Hickey feels that it is a continuous journey. He stated that Best Employers are constantly working to improve their level of engagement with their employees, and that is a key element of those who make the cut each year.                                                                                                                                      

The drive to continue to improve engagement throughout the lifetime of a business is echoed in the views of recipients of the Best Employer accreditations.

“We don’t view engagement as a project, we feel it’s a core capability for our leaders and we want to embed the right leadership behaviour around it,” Dean Sappey, HR director at Frucor Beverages told HC. “It’s an ongoing journey with no finish line.”

Peter Acheson, chief executive officer at Peoplebank, described his organisation’s relationship with Aon Hewitt and climb to the top as a “six year journey”.

Additionally, working with Aon Hewitt is not simply about the accreditation itself. The reports and analysis that organisations are supplied with is something they see as invaluable, regardless of whether they made the list that year or not.

“Things change on a daily basis, so it’s important for us to check in year on year to make sure that, whatever changes may have happened, we are still maintaining high engagement,” Sappey said.

Outside of the feedback organisations gain, the accreditation can be utilised as a powerful employer branding tool.

“We were already building a reputation in the consumer goods sector for being dynamic and certainly a bit different in our approach, but the Hewitt awards have provided us broader exposure,” said Sappey. “Aside from the exposure the award gives, it makes our people feel damn proud to work here.”

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