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Renault Australia among 'best employers'

All the best: AON Hewitt partner and head of talent Stephen Hickey (left) and Renault Australia finance director Glenn Turner (right) with the 'best employer' accreditation.

Annual 'best employer' program adds Renault Australia to accredited companies

8 Jun 2015

RENAULT Australia has been accredited as one of the 'best employers' in Australia and New Zealand, according to an annual program conducted by human resources consultants, Aon Hewitt.

The French car-maker's Australian subsidiary was one of 15 companies to be accredited this year out of a total 148 organisations that applied, but telecommunications infrastructure company Chorus New Zealand took out the award for 'best of the best' for the first time, after being accredited on four previous occasions.

Aon Hewitt describes the annual program – now in its 15th year – as Australia and New Zealand's “leading accreditation and research program into the people practices of high performing organisations”.

In order to be accredited as an 'best employer', companies must complete an employee engagement survey that includes the 'Core 24' items that are seen as the “highest predictors” of 'best employer' companies, a 'people practices inventory' which is completed by the organisation's HR and finance departments, and an HR and CEO interview.

Aon Hewitt commended Renault Australia for opening up its strategy meetings to people from all levels of the organisation, a practice which it said helped people of all levels understand their place in the strategy, facilitates the flow of information and provides an opportunity to identify employees for possible future leadership roles.

Renault Australia employees are encouraged to communicate their ideas, regardless of their role, and senior management, including the managing director, are easily accessible to staff.

Aon Hewitt highlighted Renault's response to recent challenging exchange rates, which was to acknowledge the problem and communicate it to its employees.

According to the HR consultancy, this helped Renault get “buy-in” from its staff and allowed them to implement an action plan through “common understanding”, which created trust and had “mutually beneficial outcomes”.

As a result, Renault's new-car sales have doubled from 5011 units in 2012 to 10,014 in 2014 – a trend that continues for the French brand this year, with sales up 28.1 per cent to 4287 in the first five months of 2015 compared with the same period last year.

Aon Hewitt said in a report that “culture is priority” at Renault Australia, adding that the company's recruitment philosophy is 'behaviour before skill' which is a “prerequisite for success” at all employee levels.

“The Executive team is committed to maintaining cultural alignment above all else. If people are leaders or high performers but exhibit the wrong behaviours, they are proactively given feedback and coached to improve. There are no compromises when it comes to maintaining culture and all Renault Australia employees are expected to act as ambassadors for the brand,” the report said.

Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar said the car-maker was “honoured” to be recognised in this year's list, and described how the Aon Hewitt survey has helped further engage kits employee base.

“We are exceedingly proud of the internal people practices we put in place over the past four years and its humbling to see these acknowledged within both our industry and others,” he said.

“This process began for us in 2012 when we set out to understand our employees’ perceptions about their experience and views of working at Renault through Aon Hewitt’s employee engagement survey. The results of these surveys have since focused our efforts on driving engagement across the business in recent years and in fostering a positive working environment for our team.

“I would personally like to thank the entire team at Renault Australia for their ongoing enthusiasm and dedication to the success of Renault Australia.”

Aon Hewitt partner and head of talent Stephen Hickey said having an engaged workforce can help improve a company's performance.

“In today’s dynamic business environment, there is significant value in organisations using employee engagement as a way to drive performance outcomes, both within the business and externally,” he said.

“This year’s report revealed that Best Employers have the ability to navigate change in their business whilst delivering on performance targets at the same time. This not only improves employee confidence and performance, but also offers a significant competitive advantage in a rapidly evolving market.”

According to Aon Hewitt, the 148 companies involved in this year's program employ 92,509 people, and said that highly engaged employees are 36 per cent more likely to stay at an organisation.

Other companies that made this year's list include pharmaceutical company Bristol-Meyers Squibb Australia, Eden Brae Homes, FedEx Express NZ, Frucor Beverages NZ, construction equipment and trade tool company Hilti Australia, Marriott Hotels and Resorts Australia, market research company Millward Brown Australia, IT recruiters Peoplebank Australia Limited, Seek Limited, Swinburne Online, Wood & Grieve Engineers and Z Energy from New Zealand.

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