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“If I need you to be a channel account manager, and I say ‘this is how you do it,’ chances are you’ll hate it,”

The IT industry produces some excellent workplaces. Just looking through the BRW’s Best Places to Work list, there are a disproportionate number of IT companies listed.

And, with unemployment at less than five per cent there is a very real skills shortage in the marketplace, so when an organisation recruits, it wants to retain those staff. Providing a good workplace environment is a big part of that – moreso than offering a big wage, in fact.

“Having a good incentives package is table stakes in the current market,” Juniper vicepresident, Australia and New Zealand, Mark Iles, said.

“You need to make sure you’re paying to market and there’s a good incentive structure behind it. But it’s not the be all and end all. We don’t aim to be the highest paying company in the marketplace. Any company that did that would be mad.”

That approach to remuneration is a common thread amongst Australia’s best places to work, but there was very little else that could be called cookie-cutter in approach to staff satisfaction across the BRW Best Places to Work list, however. It would appear that staff morale and motivation is not driven by offering the most cash.

Consider Best Places to Work mainstay, Distribution Central, for instance. It provides its business units funds to go and do anything from paintballing through to a pub crawl. It also tailors the benefi ts of the job to the individual – non-smokers can have an extra day off work. Its in-house software developers can use company resources to build the next Angry Birds if they so wish. It’s in being fluid with staff benefi ts that the distributor is able to personalise the experience of working with it, and in doing so, keep engagement and retention rates high.

“Our staff’s jobs can be tweaked because what we believe is, if I need you to be a channel account manager, and I say ‘this is how you do it’, chances are you’ll hate it,” Distribution Central managing director, Nick Verykios, said. “But if I say ‘I want you to be a channel account manager, go out and be one because all I want is this result’, you’ll love it.”


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Tags brwmcafeejunipernick verykiosdistribution centralMark IlesJohn Francois

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