Michael Bailey Deputy editor

Michael has been a business journalist for 12 years. He has extensive experience editing magazines covering funds management, commercial property and the travel industry. In 2011 he won a Citi Excellence in Financial Journalism award for a BRW cover story on economic indicators.

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Best place to work revealed

Published 22 June 2011 14:36, Updated 28 October 2011 07:07

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Google Australia is the nation’s best place to work, according to BRW magazine’s annual Best Places to Work flagship edition.

The BRW Best Places to Work survey, conducted in partnership with the Great Place to Work Institute, this year surveyed 207 companies and 55,400 of their employees. It asked the extent to which employees trust their leaders, have pride in what they do and enjoy the people they work with. Management of the companies also did a “culture audit”, that evaluated the devotion of leaders to improving their workplaces.

Google Australia came out on top thanks largely to its workplace innovations, such as the 10 per cent of time its employees can spend pursuing their own projects. Recognition of employees’ personal and professional worth, a sense of community and pride in being associated with the company were also important factors.

Information technology companies made up the entire top five: Google was followed by E-Web Marketing (a search engine optimiser), NetApp Australia (data management), Juniper Networks (networking technology) and Atlassian (software development).

Click here to find out why IT companies make excellent employers

Best places to work - the top ten

Rank Company
1 Google
2 E-web Marketing
3 NetApp Australia
4 Juniper Networks
5 Atlassian
6 Davidson Recruitment
8 Ikon Communications
9 MRWED Group
10 Altis Consulting

See full Best Places to Work index (subscription required)

In all, 20 companies of this year’s top 50 best places to work were from the IT sector, which BRW editor Kate Mills attributes to certain natural advantages these types of companies have.

“A lot of these IT companies are in a young sector, are relatively new and have been able to create work cultures from scratch, without the cultural legacies that some of our largest and oldest brands have to battle with internally. These companies are also blessed with working in a low-capital, high-margin sector,” Mills said.

They can also move nimbly. Atlassian, for example, completely changed the performance review system for its 200 employees in the past year. It scrapped contentious ratings and performance bonuses, shifting to a flat 8 per cent annual salary increase for everyone, backed with monthly “coaching conversations” between managers and team members.

Many of the Top 50 companies pay high levels of maternity and paternity leave, award large referral bonuses and have generous training allowances.

“The combination of low unemployment and high employee workplace expectations are putting great pressure on employers when it comes to gaining and retaining quality staff,” Mills says.

“Our Best Places to Work top 50 can show us all how to deal with a dynamic labour market where four years in a job is considered a long time.”