Council raises bar for employee engagement

Council raises bar for employee engagement

Friday, October 28, 2011

It was a case of three strikes and you’re in.....again, for the South Taranaki District Council when they found out today that the organisation was a finalist in the national JRA Best Workplaces Survey for medium-large businesses for the third consecutive year.

The JRA Best Workplaces Survey is New Zealand’s largest annual workplace climate-employee engagement survey and uses confidential feedback from organisations’ employees to rate their employers.

A record 31,700 employees from 237 organisations across the country took part in the survey this year.

Now in its 12th year, as the largest survey of workplace climate and employee opinion in the country, it has become the benchmark for best workplace practices nationwide.

The survey is done by asking employees of participating organisations a range of questions, grouped into categories such as culture and values, learning and development, reward and recognition, communication and co-operation.

“I am pleased with this result and proud of our organisation and our people,” says Council chief executive Craig Stevenson. “This is the third year we have been a finalist and it gets tougher to keep increasing what are already, quite high levels of employee engagement. We were particularly pleased that we registered gains in every category this year” he says.

Mr Stevenson says the result is great news for a number of reasons. “A highly engaged workforce is more productive, more innovative and highly committed and these factors result in better service to our citizens. Our low rates of absenteeism and very high rates of after-hours volunteering are a further demonstration of this” he says.

“A further benefit is the ability for the organisation to attract high calibre employees. Good people want to work for good organisations.”

Mr Stevenson believes the reason why the Council has rated so highly comes down to the quality of its people and the strong organisational culture that exits. “We are one big, professional family with a very positive can – do attitude. People have that positive attitude when they feel they are being valued and they are making an important contribution. Our people are totally committed to doing their best for our residents,” he says.

The winners of four categories; Small Workplace, Small-Medium Workplace, Medium-Large Workplace and Large Workplace, as well as Overall Winner will be announced at a black tie awards ceremony in Auckland on November 17.