Employee experience at the heart of these Australian workplaces

How employees feel about their workspace goes far beyond brick and mortar. It’s about the entire experience with an employer, from their interactions and connections with colleagues to their opportunities for development to the company culture and support system.

As Forbes contributor Jacob Morgan says, “It is the recognition by the organisation that it must create a place where people truly want to show up instead of having a place where people need to show up.”

The following eight Australian workplaces are continuously working to attract and maintain a happy team. They’ve recognised that the combination of culture, technology and physical environment all impact the employee experience and have strived for a balance that works.

Hachette

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Hachette is a Sydney based publishing company. With 80 employees, they’re strong on workplace culture and championing the values their employees nominate as important.
"We have a Workplace Improvement Team (WIT) comprised of employee volunteers," explains Justin Ractliffe, Managing Director. "WIT have a budget. It's used for weekly yoga classes, massages, celebrations and picnics."

"We launched four employee network initiatives this year: Wellbeing, Thrive, Gender Balance and Pride," says Ractliffe.

Thrive’s aim is to train employees in culture awareness and inclusiveness, while Gender Balance is committed to having a 50/50 split of men and women in senior roles. Pride is the LGBTQIA network.
"You may have noticed our #HachettePride social media posts to celebrate Pride Week in late June," says Ractliffe.

Additionally, Hachette donates to three charities as voted on by employees.

Movember

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The Movember Foundation is a charity dedicated to changing the face of men’s health around the world. At the global HQ in Melbourne, it is a key priority that employees stay mentally and physically healthy, and have fun while working.

Creating positive employee experiences is at the heart of this workplace. There are Lunch and Learn sessions where team members attend cooking classes and a run club. “Chill-out zones” are everywhere on-site, and dogs are always welcome.

“It’s also so important to have employees hear first-hand from the real people affected by the causes we support,” says Sam Gledhill, Global Director of Testicular Cancer/Culture Champion. “It’s hugely motivating and reminds the Movember team why the work they do is so important.”

Man with a van

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Man With A Van has evolved from a one-man business to a major moving business that shows no sign of slowing down.

With now over 150 team members who complete 80 moves a day across Melbourne, Man With A Van’s recruitment and induction process is in a regular state of refinement. They believe this is key to maintaining loyal employees and customers.

“There's a two-day induction process, where the new hire is introduced to the company and the way we work, followed by three days of on-road training with a senior team member. New employees are mentored, working alongside senior employees until they've completed 200-300 home relocations.”

Every Friday night the business also holds a barbeque and drinks for all team members, and Saturday morning there’s a big bacon and eggs breakfast for the crew before their shift commences.

Serotonin eatery

Serotonin

Based in Richmond, Melbourne, Serotonin eatery integrates a nourishing café with an exercise centre. Their ethos is built around eating a plant-based diet for optimum health.

“We do not measure our success purely based on financial aspects. We believe that a business is not a success without happy employees and happy customers, and that this should be maintained as an ongoing goal of our business,” says Ingrid, Serotonin Manager.

Serotonin has a solid recruitment process that uses social media to attract people who are familiar with the business.

“Our training is longer than usual in hospitality, as we want to give all our new employees the time and the attention they need to be a better version of themselves with us."

With a team of less than 20 people, the Serotonin crew is tight-knit. Fun and adventurous outings are a regular occurrence, such as rock climbing, team dinners, and even trips to the snow.

Campaign monitor

Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor offers email marketing solutions and automation for business. They typically work with the entertainment, retail and publishing industries, and non-profits such as Amnesty International and Unicef.

The company offers their employees daily breakfast and lunch, and a fully stocked kitchen. Employees also enjoy flexible work hours, on-site yoga, and a Friday culture club where everyone gathers at the end of the working week.

It’s a great opportunity for the team to celebrate their successes together. Employees are not just ticking off a timesheet, they’re building a culture of nurturing friendships and discussions.

Karen Clark, head of employee experience at Campaign Monitor says, "We offer something really unique here at Campaign Monitor. A genuine team environment where camaraderie, respect and collaboration is nurtured through our daily interactions of sharing meals, doing team activities such as group fitness classes, team volunteering opportunities and monthly events. This has been the foundation of our success from day one and continues today".

Marmalade

Marmalade

Melbourne-based creative agency Marmalade is conscious of the environment they foster, knowing that the right setting enables creativity to flourish. The open warehouse has workspaces dotted around, allowing employees to gather in groups or work independently.

“At Marmalade, employees get the day off on their birthday, ‘dogless’ days in the agency are very rare, the kitchen area has a big lunch table and sofas, and we have an obligatory table tennis table,” says Managing Director, Victor Maree.

There’s a small core team at the Marmalade Melbourne studio, with freelancers joining as required.

“Our aim was to build an environment where creativity, accountability, decency, ideas and laughter reign. The better the environment, the more conducive it is to creativity,” says Maree.

lululemon

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With 404 locations around the world, lululemon has grown exponentially since being founded in Vancouver twenty years ago. As makers of branded yoga and athletic apparel, the company has a mantra of living and breathing a healthy lifestyle.

Benita Grimaldi, Talent Manager for Australia and New Zealand, highlights the culture of development that lululemon fosters.

“The company provides opportunities for growth in the form of workshops, off-sites and reading materials. lululemon currently offer an in house experience through purpose-based immersions, which can be retreats or courses, and meditation programs. These programs are designed to develop each person through mindful practices,” says Benita Grimaldi, Talent Manager for Australia and New Zealand.

As these Australian businesses know, when employees to feel valued and recognised, they have purpose and a desire to come to work daily. With the flow on effects including increased customer satisfaction and business profits, it’s a win-win.

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