Quest to find best firms

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 July, 2008, 12:00am

Since its launch in 2001, the Hewitt Associates Best Employers study has been on a quest to find organisations that offer people a great place to work. Judges look for leaders with a common vision and human resources teams with people practices that give employees a sense of place.

The research is based around three survey instruments: an employee opinion survey that is used to gauge the level of employee engagement among a random sample of employees; people practices inventory detailing information about philosophies, practices and policies that influence the management of people in the organisation; and a CEO questionnaire, which collects opinions from CEOs and senior executives.

The results from these survey instruments are audited by Hewitt consultants who make a thorough investigation into what a CEO says, and what an employee claims about the organisation.

The fifth study was launched on July 14, with data collected between September 1 and November 21 last year. Judging is between January and February next year and Best Employers are announced in March.

The independent judging panel includes academics, businesspeople and staff members of the South China Morning Post. They will assess blind data to measure staff engagement and leadership that results in staff being happy to work and contribute to a company for longer periods.

In the final stages, Best Employers are announced, and the data helps Hewitt understand what makes a Best Employer stand out. 'The companies that participate in the study get nice robust, granular data,' said Philip Wixon, general manager of Hewitt Associates.

'Our research shows that engagement levels above 60 per cent correlate with strong positive business results. Below 40 per cent, engagement correlates with taking value away from the company.'