Council maintains high standard of engagement

Council maintains high standard of engagement

Friday, October 19, 2012

The South Taranaki District Council made it four in a row this week when they were told that the organisation was a finalist in the national Kenexa Best Workplaces Survey for the fourth consecutive year.

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

A record 33,000 employees from 289 organisations across the country took part in the survey this year.

Now in its 13th 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 conducted 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.

"It is a tremendous achievement to enter the ranks of finalists in the Kenexa Best Workplaces survey, especially when you consider that this is entirely based on the opinions of their employees," said Sanchia Yonge, managing director of Kenexa New Zealand.  "Participating organisations learn how they stack up against other businesses and past winners report a notable increase in the calibre of job candidates and their ability to retain top talent."

Council chief executive Craig Stevenson says he is pleased with the result and proud of the organisation and its people. “This is the fourth year we have been a finalist and it gets tougher to keep increasing what are already, quite high levels of employee engagement,” 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 (STDC’s category)  and Large Workplace, as well as Overall Winner will be announced at a black tie awards ceremony in Auckland on 1 November.