Microsoft crowned as Australia’s best employer

Award winner holding business trophy

Microsoft has been named the best employer in Australia and New Zealand in an annual index, thanks to its ongoing efforts to ensure employees feel valued. 

The 2012 Aon Hewitt Best Employers index surveyed 74,000 employees from 165 companies, and looked at 102 businesses in Australia and New Zealand, 14 of which were named the best employers in the two countries.

Microsoft came in number one, and the remaining places in the top 14 were taken out by:

  • Chorus New Zealand
  • Express Data
  • FedEx Express Australia
  • FedEx Express New Zealand
  • Frucor Beverages Australia
  • Hilti Australia
  • Janssen Australia and New Zealand
  • Peoplebank Australia
  • SEEK
  • Shire Australia
  • Starlight Children’s Foundation
  • Trilby Misso Lawyers
  • Wood & Grieve Engineers

Microsoft ANZ HR director Rose Clements attributes the win to its decision to focus on putting time and effort into ensuring employees feel valued.

“We cannot always control the circumstances in which we find ourselves, but we absolutely control how we choose to respond. Where we invest our time and our money in an organisation speaks volumes for what we value,” Clements said.

The 2012 Best Employers were found to deliver on average 9 percent more profit per employee than other organisations. Best Employers program leader James Rutherford said developing a highly engaged and productive workforce should be a requirement for all employers.

“Best employers do more than create a nice place to work. They create the conditions for people to excel and contribute discretionary effort,” Rutherford added.

But what does it take to be an outstanding employer? Organisations on the best employers list were found to have the following characteristics in common:

1. Senior staff who see the importance in producing employees that are engaged and productive.

2. Outlined clear performance expectations of employees that matched the companies goals and values as well as making their work meaningful.

3. Managers that created a working environment and conditions in which employees would excel.

4. Rewarded and recognised employees based on their work.

5. Communicated effectively about what employees can expect.