Jeremy Andrulis, head of Aon Hewitt’s human capital and retirement business in Hong Kong and Taiwan, says the value of winning the Best Employers award is as important to employees as it is to the winning companies.
“From the employees’ perspective, I think it shows that they work for a company that has a strong focus on viewing people as a critical asset. Things are not done just for short-term results,” he says.
“The criteria for Best Employers were designed to show continued, long-term investment – and a long-term focus. It was evident in this year’s survey [that] the Best Employer companies were able to sustain that investment, and find different ways to keep employees engaged. That sense of engagement leads to higher productivity and improvements in other business measures as well.”
Companies were tested on five areas, based on Aon Hewitt’s research into best practices and its anticipation of market changes.
The study was designed to assess whether these concepts were merely theoretical aspirations, or if they were being implemented, explains Andrulis.
“Take pervasive accountability and trust,” he says. “It’s important for a Best Employer to do that, but a company does not ‘do’ pervasive accountability and trust – it’s important that leaders, managers, employees, high potentials and human resources all consistently drive it through their specific actions and behaviours. So, you have to design programmes and incentivise the behaviours ... to make sure that the leaders are always driving pervasive accountability and trust.”
Two things are the key differentiators for Best Employers versus the rest, he adds. The first is pervasive accountability and trust, which involves making sure that everyone in the organisation takes ownership of decisions, and that there are good, trusted relationships, particularly between managers and employees. The second involves programmes and investments, especially those that help managers improve their effectiveness in setting goals for employees and that help them give useful feedback and coaching.
“Can a manager really address poor performance? It’s a hard thing