Every year an elite group of organisations across Australia and New Zealand achieve Aon Hewitt Best Employer accreditation status, which Chorus was recently awarded for the third year running.
The Aon Hewitt Best Employers programme offers an opportunity for an organisation to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to its staff by benchmarking itself, identifying strengths and weaknesses in people practices, and providing consultation to help improve engagement.
The Aon Hewitt Best Employers programme assesses organisations against five criteria: employee engagement; leadership commitment; a compelling promise to employees; connecting employees to the company and strategy; and a differentiated high performance culture.
The Best Employers accreditation is about connections at all levels, says Deborah Sinclair, Acting General Manager, Human Resources at Chorus.
“At Chorus, we create connections throughout our teams, with people leaders and with each other. These connections, plus an understanding of our strategy from a high level to an individual level, create an environment where people want to go the extra mile.
“It’s been a three year journey to maintain Best Employer status, which has been led from the top. Every year we strive to create an engaging place to work, by listening to feedback from our staff in the survey, and ensuring we keep doing the things that we know work,” says Deborah.
Participation in the programme gives a valuable insight into what drives employees, and helps to identify the areas which have the most positive impact on staff and business results.
As well as providing a platform for change, participation in the accreditation programme sends a strong message to staff that the organisation values their input and cares about the ‘employee experience’.
The three part accreditation process allows staff to contribute, giving an accurate and honest evaluation of staff culture within an organisation.
For the team at Chorus, it’s an acknowledgement of all of the effort that everyone makes to ensure it’s an engaging place to work.
“An engaging place to work is more than just being happy at work, it’s about being in an environment that inspires you to go that extra mile for Chorus and what we can provide to New Zealand,” says Deborah.
New Zealand’s largest telecommunications infrastructure company, Chorus is responsible for looking after 1.8 million fixed telecommunications lines, and is currently building an ultrafast broadband network, which it is estimated will benefit more than 830 000 homes and businesses.
Chorus operates in a fast-moving, highly regulated environment, which means that the organisation has to be accustomed to change and its associated challenges.
The organisation’s turnover remains low, and despite some recent regulatory challenges, Chorus has delivered its strategy, due to its highly engaged and resilient workforce.
“Everyone at Chorus is driven to make it the best place they’ve ever worked, and that’s indicative of our strong values and people-centered culture. This is evident from all areas of our company – from our front of line staff all the way through to our CEO and executive team,” says Deborah.
Employee engagement is a key part of creating an organisation that truly makes sure it creates social value through the impact of all of its operations.
The Sustainable Business Network has recently started a new work stream on Embedding Social Value into Business Models. It aims to create a blueprint for organisations to show them how they can successfully operate to deliver positive social impacts for communities, and understand the different elements that go into making that happen successfully.
The blueprint will help us identify the current roadblocks so that we can work with our partners to uncover the opportunities to structure a new generation of businesses that have a material consideration of social issues and use them as a platform for innovation and growth.
To find out more about Chorus, click here.