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The Ten Best Places to Work in Australia

By Admin | 11 October 2016 |

Every year the workplace analysis company Great Places to Work (GPW) publishes a list of the best companies to work for in many of the major countries in the world.

The site released their 2016 list for Australia, highlighting companies who had more than 100 employees.

We’re going to review the top 10 finishers and help you understand why they won. One thing we’ve learned in working with talented speakers and dynamic business is that it never hurts to try and glean wisdom from those who are really good at what they do.

#10 OMD

OMD is an ad and marketing agency that is privately owned and has 491 employees. One of the things which really stood out to GPW’s researchers was the company’s employee-focused programs.

“Fun and camaraderie are vital ingredients in maintaining and boosting employee morale at this marketing and media communications agency,” the report reads.

OMD has several committees to plan fun events each quarter, as well as an in-house Olympics-style competition where tight-knit groups battle in various competitions to win points for their team.

#9 Summit Homes Group

Summit is a construction and real estate firm that is one of four Australian companies on the list. GPW says the strength of this company is its employee recognition/communication program, “My Summit”.

More than just a way to praise employees, it’s a comprehensive in-house system that notifies employees of important company news, initiative and goals.

Summit is a private company with 370 workers.

#8 NetApp Australia

The second of four home-grown businesses on this list, NetApp is an IT/data management company that is publicly owned and has 202 employees.

The big strength of their company is its desire to get employees involved in causes inside and outside of the organization. One of the things we liked is that NetApp gives employees five with-pay days off to do community volunteer activities they get to choose.

#7 MEC

MEC is the only media services company on this list. It’s based in the U.K. and employs 135 people, making it the smallest company in the top 10.

According to BPW, MEC’s strength lies in its “all-agency culture days”, where employees go to an off-site location to hear inspiring talks from company leaders. Part of the day is also devoted to team projects, where each team presents their biggest and best achievements to the rest of the company.

#6 Optiver

Financial services provider Optiver is the only Dutch company in the top 10. They’re a privately-held company with 308 employees.

According to GPW, “Optiver is committed to ensuring that employees feel that the company is grateful for all their effort.”

The company created a program called Gamify, which allows employees to give points to another employee who offers help and kindness.

Like GPW, this is a great way to highlight employees who do a good job but aren’t self-promoters.

#5 Adobe Systems

The software giant comes in fifth on this list for the numerous programs they have to “reward peak performance.”

Some of these programs include on-the-spot bonuses for above-and-beyond performances, milestone anniversary recognition including comments from co-workers, a Founders Award Program and The ‘You Rock’ Award, which recognizes employees or teams who made significant contributions to the Adobe Asia-Pacific region.

The U.S.-based company is publicly traded and employs 245 people in Australia.

#4 MECCA Brands

MECCA is the largest Australian employer on this list with 1523 employees in its ranks. The retail beauty giant is the third Australian company on the list.

What stands out to us about this company is its hiring practices. GPW points out that MECCA hires people who have the ability to “progress beyond the position available.” We like that, because we think it helps the company preserve its future by hiring people who have the ability to be leaders and visionaries.

#3 Atlassian

This software giant is a publicly-traded U.K. company with 881 employees in Australia. Employee care is at the core of their ultra-selective hiring and onboarding process.

For example, any employee who refers a new hire get a big bonus, and any person who is hired gets a travel voucher they can use before their first day of work “to start their new job refreshed”.

Another employee-focused perk is the Welcome Blog, which is a page on the internal website where new hires get to talk about their new job, their interests and their motivations for working at Atlassian.

#2 Stryker

This Australian company is the highest-ranked of its Oz colleagues. The health care/medical company has 422 employees and is publicly-traded.

GPW’s analysis of Stryker’s employee programs was pretty thin, so we went out and did some research on our own. The company’s employee benefits package gets a 4.2 out of 5 ranking on, with multiple employees using the phrase “very generous”. The company also offers employees a 4% match to Vanguard funds and profit sharing.

#1 Salesforce

Salesforce finished in third a couple of years ago, but climbed to the top spot after a tremendous year in which they saw revenue, engagement and hiring rise.

The core of this American company’s employee philosophy is “ohana”, the Hawaiian word for family. As GPW put it, “ohana represents the idea that families – related or chosen – are bound together, and that members feel a sense of responsibility for one another … (it’s) their close-knit ecosystem of employees, customers, partners and communities.”

The company’s values drive that network of relationships: trust, customer success, innovation, giving back, equality, wellness, transparency and fun.

Sounds like a great place to work!

How to Transform Your Workplace Into an Enviable Environment

We hope the programs these companies run on behalf of their employees and customers inspired you. One of our big takeaways was that happy employees equal happy customers. Don’t be afraid to invest your resources in your people in a structured, intentional way.

If you’re having a hard time understanding how to create an engaging and transformative employee experience, take a look at our Corporate Culture Speakers page. Keynotes like Alan Patching, Ian ElliotBernie Brookes, Amanda Gore and Brian Tracy can help you formulate a culture-driven employee program that will benefit your company in the short- and long-term.