Essential HR

Being a good employer is good, as you are signaling to your employees that you care about them. And in many situations, this is enough to increase retention on its own. But in a highly competitive environment, being good is often just not good enough.

A good employer is an employer that provides work for their employees, pays them on time, gives a work environment that is safe, impartial, developmental and provides equal opportunity for all. Being a bloody good employer takes things to the next level. These are the employers that people really want to work for. The culture is great, the work is interesting and varied, the values are shared and recognized, and the company’s leadership is solid and inspirational. In short their employees are motivated and get excited about their work.

Naturally, therefore, being a bloody good employer also leads to higher levels of employee engagement and satisfaction levels. All of these factors lead to much higher levels of employee retention and a direct impact on your bottom line through increased productivity.

 Is this for real?  Seriously, many companies aspire to be like this, and a number are awarded in the public eye through things like the EEO Workright awards (, the Kennexa Best Workplaces awards ( and the Aon Hewitt Best Employers Study ( But even without these awards, there are many companies that exist in general perception as anecdotally being bloody good, such as Google and Apple. In New Zealand specifically, several that come to mind include TradeMe, Flight Centre and AA Insurance.

 But what can you, as an employer, do to become bloody good employers? Well, to begin with, it’s important to tick the boxes required by law, such as getting your health and safety practices into shape, and giving everyone in your company job descriptions.

 This should be followed by giving your employees the necessary tools to perform their jobs, such as the correct training and an ergonomic work environment. This includes things as simple as making sure your office chairs promote good posture, and getting your left handed carpenters the tools that suit them. Training, at its most basic, should ensure that employees can do the tasks that are required of them, but extends to enabling an employee to grow.  I have just attended a review meeting where the employee was clearly excited about the prospect of being trained to take on HR administration responsibilities.

 Critical though, is being genuinely one team, with a set of company values that are shared and recognized, and which permeate right from top management to every single employee. Management who walk the talk, and who demonstrate strong leadership, clearly model these values day to day. 

 Being bloody good means:

Every bit of advice I have shared with you in this retention series in Canterbury Today has been a way in which you can be a bloody good employer. Canterbury, today, is an exciting place to be both as an employer and an employee, so the more you can apply these principles, the better your chance of ensuring your top employees don’t jump ship to where the grass seems greener.

 You have all fought a battle to hire the right employees for your company, now you can make sure that they stay happy right where they are – working for you.