Awards put smiles on employees' dials

Media Release, 03 February 2014

Recognition in Australia’s most prestigious business awards has delivered a surge in employee morale, improved productivity and increased staff retention, according to recipients.

With entries now open for the 2014 Telstra Australian Business Awards, small and medium businesses are being urged to aspire to a boost in the bottom line that can come with more engaged employees.

Nick Haddow, owner of Tasmania’s Bruny Island Cheese Co., said his staff were “massively proud” when the company was named 2013 Telstra Australian Business of the Year.

“They also saw it as a challenge to continue that effort and prove that we deserved the Award. It inspired them to raise the bar even higher. The dedication, the productivity, even just the retention of staff has been incredible,” Mr Haddow said.

Clyde Campbell, CEO of Machinery Automation and Robotics, said there was an immediate impact on staff motivation and performance when the firm was named Telstra Australian Business of the Year in 2008.

"It would be a fair estimate that the flow-on to productivity for the company over the ensuing months, and probably longer, would have been between 10 and 15 per cent. The awareness of our company in the public space, touching people who we would not have had the opportunity to connect with prior to our Telstra
Award win, helped attract skilled talent which is often priceless,” Mr Campbell said.

International research has shown business award winners outperform competitors in sales and share value* and local studies have linked high performing workplaces to lower levels of employee turnover.

Ms Lyn Goodear, CEO of the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI), said: “HR practitioners surveyed by AHRI last year reveal that around 60 per cent of respondents believe a positive employer brand is a significant retention factor for Australians businesses. These findings support other research that suggests feeling good about our place of employment affects not only our motivation and engagement but also our capacity to work productively.

“Replacing departed employees is an expensive operation and a high churn is also a risk to the business in terms of lost intellectual property and disruption to stakeholder relations. By involvement in programs such as the Telstra Business Awards, organisations are able to generate brand integrity by building real engagement and loyalty,” Ms Goodear said.

Will Irving, Group Managing Director of Telstra Business and Telstra Business Awards Ambassador, said: “Becoming a finalist or winner in the Awards is a big thrill for a business and its employees. It not only recognises the great work a team has done, but also motivates staff to keep wanting to do more and come up with innovative ideas to be better.”

Entries for the 2014 Telstra Business Awards can be submitted until 31 March. Nominations for the Awards can still be made through the Telstra Business Awards website or by calling 1800 AWARDS. More than $800,000 in prizes is available for state, territory and national Telstra Awards winners.