Michael Specht

A blog from Australia looking at technology, management, Human Resources (HR) and recruitment.

Great places to work in Australia

September 1st, 2008 · 8 Comments · Engagement, HR Management, Work Life Balance ·

I missed the launch last year by the Great Place to Work Institute opened their doors downunder. Spearheading by Chris Taylor and Trish Dagg two organisational development types out of Western Australian university.

In mid-August they release their first list for Australia called “Best Companies to Work for in Australia“, no real surprise there. Although the top 8 in the list might surprise you:

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
  2. Dow Corning
  3. Google
  4. McDonald’s
  5. Morgan Stanley
  6. NetApp
  7. Russell Investments
  8. SEEK Limited

There is no reference on the site as to how a company gets selected to participate in the process other than they “work with a respected Media Partner”, I guess is it was News Corp’s The Australian as the results were published there. However to make it on the list selection is primarily based on employees’ responses to a survey and then an evaluation of submitted content by the company.

I am trying to get further information on the complete list.

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8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 DJ // Sep 3, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Be interested to know the terms of reference to what makes a company a great place to work re: above.

  • 2 Michael Specht // Sep 9, 2008 at 10:12 am

    DJ I received some further information from the Institute, while they did not provide the full list they indicated that the the ratings were based on the companies score from their employees responses to Trust Index survey – a 57 statement survey.

  • 3 James Wright // Sep 23, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Maximising Engagement Through Conversation

    The tax system in Australia, through the Fringe Benefits Tax or FBT regulations currently allows you to make irregular and unexpected rewards to staff up to the value of $300 per person per year without incurring any liability.

    Employee engagement has been high on everyone’s agenda for a number of years, more recently the debate has shifted and the idea of engaged employees being the new marketers is now becoming more commonplace.

    Imagine you run a business employing one hundred people. That’s $30,000 that you can spend encouraging your employees to talk positively about your brand, products and service; acknowledging and engaging them in the process.

    Let’s take a look at that this in a bit more detail. Assume you decide that $100 is a pretty good amount for each reward. Your $30,000 tax free allowance buys you 300 rewards, an average of three for each member of staff every year.

    Each reward gets talked about. Every time you reward an employee you create a conversation; at the pub, at a BBQ, in the queue at the supermarket, over coffee, at the school gates.

    Let’s assume that each reward gets talked about three times, that’s 900 conversations.

    $33 for a good conversation, a potential new customer and someone likely to tell someone else a positive story about your business. Try asking your marketing experts whether they think that’s good value for money. Word of mouth, social networking, whatever you want to call it, can’t be bought they’ll tell you, well they are wrong!

    Depending on how you structure your rewards program you can buy yourself even more conversations. An accumulative, points based program, allows you to make smaller more regular rewards. Let’s say you run with an average reward value of $25. That’s 1200 rewards a year and 3600 conversations.

    We talk about our experiences even more than we do our possessions and cash.
    RedBalloon Days uses experiences and unique gifts as extraordinary rewards through Gift Certificates and it’s points platform; we work with hundreds of businesses to engage employees and create powerful conversations for their brands.

    From shark diving, to Sri Lankan cookery classes, flying lessons to spa treatments, sleepovers at the zoo to luxury weekends away there is something for everyone in the range of over 2500 experiences across Australia and New Zealand.

    At RedBalloon for Corporate we help business get the most of out the marketing and rewards budgets. I start most of my presentations with a simple question, who has experienced RedBalloon Days before. I can pretty much guarantee that at least one person in the room will have been given, purchased one of our gifts or experienced our brand in the last seven years. People are always keen to share their story with the group; ‘my husband got one through his work’, ‘I bought one for my son’, ‘my friend took me with her on hers’…gossip gossip gossip….sometimes I don’t even have to speak to get the business on board – it’s the power of conversation. How many conversations is your business having?

  • 4 David // Oct 14, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    I worked for Seek for a few years recently and I have to say that it is both the best place and the worst place I’ve ever worked.

    Although it’s not obvious to the outsider, Seek is effectively run by a small group of young, inexperienced managers and team leaders who have been there since the early days and have significant share holdings and strong social connections with the founders. They use this informal network and Seek’s 360 degree feedback system to run the place. As a result Seek’s formal management are very weak.

    On the plus side this inner clique use their power to organise lots of fun social events. On the minus side they use this power to bully, harass and ostracize anyone who challenges or criticises them. Because management have little real power they turn a blind eye to this and even support it. As a result Seek has a very nasty repeated pattern of bullying and mobbing and several staff have gone on sick and stress leave because of it.

  • 5 DJ // Oct 15, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Thanks Guys for all your input .

  • 6 Kris Varma // Oct 19, 2008 at 6:12 am


    I read your comment about your work experience with Seek. I am wondering whether they conduct exit interviews of staff to obtain feedback. Since you obviously say that 360 degree feedback is obtained, what happens to the survey results?

  • 7 Joel // Feb 10, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    seek is the coolist.

    apparently there is a slide there

  • 8 Nick Teplin // Mar 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm


    Just wanted to put in my two cents.

    I work for a company called Milestone Search in Melbourne. It’s an amazing place to work. We have Daytona, a pool table, an RDO every fortnight, a casual dress policy, and above industry wages. We are also free to act and behave as we see fit. Having said that, there is a lot of pressure in making numbers. Honestly, I’ve worked for heaps of companies in the past and this is the best place I’ve ever worked. Milestone’s web site is; http://www.mstone.com.au/about-us/working-at-milestone/