Unlocking Success: Inside Australia’s Best Tech Workplaces of 2024

VALENTINA LWIN-BAILEY

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Valentina Lewin-Bailey

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With a high demand and short supply of digital and cyber technology skills, the need to attract and keep employees Australia’s technology industry has reached unprecedented levels. Recent reports, such as the ‘Towards a National Jobs and Skills Roadmap (2023)’ by Jobs and Skills Australia, underscore the severity of the situation, revealing that nearly 70% of ICT professional occupations are facing shortages. As the Government sets ambitious targets, including the Tech Council of Australia’s aim of creating 1.2 million tech jobs by 2030, the pressure on the local talent pool intensifies. Against this backdrop, the imperative for tech employers to both attract and keep talent remains at the forefront.

The Australia’s Best Workplaces™ in Technology List 2024 (Tech List) recognizes technology organizations nationwide that have excelled in creating environments where employees feel secure, empowered, and valued – reducing the likelihood of them seeking better conditions elsewhere – instead, choosing to grow with their current company. These Tech List workplaces have nurtured high-trust environments, characterized by leaders who base decisions and actions on credibility, respect, and fairness towards their employees. Consequently, these organizations boast unique cultures that set them apart, embodying a consistent  commitment to their human capital. With intentional and deliberate efforts, the Tech List companies translate their cultural philosophies into actionable steps, fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion, innovation, and sustainability.

Diversity in Action: Embracing the Power of Inclusion

In leading technology workplaces, the cultivation of diversity and inclusion go beyond necessity, but rather being fundamental pillars of organizational ethos. These companies recognize the value of fostering inclusivity, showed through multifaceted initiatives. These initiatives include cultural awareness and competence programs, unconscious bias training, establishment of diversity hiring and retention targets, the promotion of Allyship, and the leaders’ sponsorship of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).

These companies adopt diversity a catalyst for innovation and the fortifying team dynamics. By ensuring the inclusion in decisions valuing individuals’ unique perspectives and celebration of individuals across a spectrum of backgrounds, they underscore the strategic alignment of diversity initiatives with organizational objectives. Continuous monitoring, tracking, and corrective action, they maintain their commitment to the enduring efficacy of these programs.

An emerging trend among Australia’s certified tech workplaces is the dedicated advocacy and support extended to transgender individuals. Noteworthy initiatives from 2024 Tech List companies include the establishment of transgender employee-led advisory boards, which have successfully advocated for tailored medical benefits to address specific challenges met by transgender and nonbinary employees. Some have introduced progressive policies such as up to six-weeks of paid Gender Transition Leave to support employees in their gender transition and affirmation journey. Leveraging their inherent expertise, some have streamlined HR systems to speed up updating names following gender affirmation, significantly reducing the associated administrative burden and emotional stress.

Narrowing the Gender Gap

In the Australian STEM landscape, where women’s representation is still disproportionately low, Tech List companies are vigorously committed to cultivating, attracting, and retaining female talent in this traditionally male-dominated arena.

With gender neutral job descriptions, gender-balanced selection panels, salary benchmarking and pay equity analysis being embedded practices in these organisations, a prevailing trend is the constant emphasis placed on women’s development initiatives, championed by executive sponsorship. These initiatives encompass a range of targeted programs designed to empower women in tech roles. Women mentorship programs, leadership development initiatives tailored specifically for women in tech, strategic partnerships with universities, and educational outreach programs aimed at inspiring young girls to engage with concepts such as algorithms, big data, cryptology, and coding are integral components deeply ingrained within their operational strategies.

These robust and meticulously structured programs serve to break down gender barriers and pave the path towards a more inclusive future within an industry historically dominated by men. Through these concerted efforts, Tech List companies actively contribute to cultivating a diverse and balanced talent pool, thereby enriching the STEM landscape with the valuable perspectives and contributions of women.

Elevating Employee Experience Beyond Traditional Benefits

Employee benefits at these organizations go beyond the ordinary, they exemplify the company’s dedication to their people’s holistic being. Ranging from comprehensive and generous parental leave to adaptable leave policies, well-being programs to flexible work arrangements and volunteer leave, these benefits are designed to deepen relationships and  feels personal and customized. Notable benefits include four weeks of paid bereavement leave, extended access to personal leave, and flexible schedules to assist employees in balancing their work and personal lives.

Furthermore, the company prioritizes the mental well-being of its employees by offering daily and weekly meeting-free times, incorporating mental health leave into its policies, providing Mental Health Crisis Management programs, and introducing a condensed workweek during the summer months to facilitate more time spent with family and friends.

Demonstrates “For All”

It’s not just the big corporations with ample resources that are shaking things up. Local and smaller companies, with fewer than 100 employees, are also carving out their place, building high-trust organizations that foster strong employee loyalty. Such companies are going beyond the norm with parent-friendly policies such as waiving qualifying periods for parental leave and reduced work hours for return-to-work parents to better accommodate family commitments.

But their inclusivity doesn’t stop there; adopting a “For All” philosophy, they extend their flexible workplace initiatives, allowing employees the freedom to work from various domestic and international locations. While remote work has become more prevalent and accessible in the industry, it’s not just about the tools and methods — it’s about the trust instilled by the company’s leadership. This trust forms the backbone of their long-lasting impact, consistently earning high trust scores year after year and placing them on the Best Workplaces List.

VALENTINA LWIN-BAILEY

Valentina brings 25 years of experience in organisational development, people and culture, and teaching and training experience from across higher education, government and private sectors in Australia and Myanmar (Burma). In the past 15+ years, she has been focused on employee engagement, workplace culture, leadership development and strategic planning. Her recent HR leadership roles included heading up functional HR teams in large and complex organisations, including crisis management during the pandemic and political unrest. She exercises her passion for people development by teaching, mentoring and coaching young HR professionals in the areas of HR, management and career planning. Valentina is a strong advocate for full-person wellness, and achieves balance through yoga, outdoor activities, cooking and enjoys spending time with family and friends.

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Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Australia 2024 Evaluation Methodology

Great Place To Work determines the list using our proprietary For All methodology. To determine the Best Workplaces in Technology list, Great Place To Work analyses the survey responses of tens of thousands of employees from Great Place To Work Certified™ companies in the technology industry.

Our survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a 5-point scale and answering two open-ended questions. Collectively, these statements describe a great employee experience, defined by high levels of trust, respect, credibility, fairness, pride, and camaraderie. In addition, companies provide organizational data like size, location, industry, demographics, roles, and levels. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience.

Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. Survey data analysis and company-provided datapoints are then factored into a combined score to compare and rank the companies that create the most consistently positive experience for all employees in this industry.

To be considered for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™ and nominate as a company in the technology industry.

We require statistically significant survey results, review anomalies in responses, news, and financial performance, and investigate any employee reports of company incompliance with strict surveying rules to validate the integrity of the results and findings. 

Categories

These organisations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

  • Micro 10-29 Employees
  • Small 30-99 Employees
  • Medium 100-999 Employees
  • Large 1000+ Employees

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Australia 2023 Evaluation Methodology

Great Place To Work determines the list using our proprietary For All methodology. To determine the Best Workplaces in Technology list, Great Place To Work analyses the survey responses of tens of thousands of employees from Great Place To Work Certified™ companies in the technology industry.

Our survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a 5-point scale and answering two open-ended questions. Collectively, these statements describe a great employee experience, defined by high levels of trust, respect, credibility, fairness, pride, and camaraderie. In addition, companies provide organizational data like size, location, industry, demographics, roles, and levels. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience.

Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. Survey data analysis and company-provided datapoints are then factored into a combined score to compare and rank the companies that create the most consistently positive experience for all employees in this industry.

To be considered for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™ and nominate as a company in the technology industry.

We require statistically significant survey results, review anomalies in responses, news, and financial performance, and investigate any employee reports of company incompliance with strict surveying rules to validate the integrity of the results and findings. 

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces for Women™ List Methodology

The Best Workplaces for Women™list is determined using Great Place To Work’sFor All™methodology to evaluate hundreds of Certified™Great Place To Work®organisations across Australia.   

Data is based on over 40,000 employee survey responses from women in Great Place To Work® Certified™ organisations across Australia. 

The survey 

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organisation’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a 5-point scale and answering two open-ended questions. 

Collectively, these statements describe a great employee experience, defined by high levels of trust, respect, credibility, fairness, pride, and camaraderie. In addition, companies provide organisational data like size, location, industry, and the number of women in the workforce and management positions. 

Considerations 

Great Place To Work analysed the gender balance of each workplace, how it compares to each company’s industry, and patterns in representation as women rise from front-line positions to executive/C-suite roles. 
Survey data analysis and women’s representation figures are then factored into a combined score to compare and rank the companies that create the most consistently positive experience and opportunities for all women, regardless of their role or demographic background.   

Eligibility   

To be considered for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™. Companies must also employ at least 50 women. We require statistically significant survey results, review anomalies in responses, and investigate any employee reports of company in compliance with strict surveying rules to validate the integrity of the results and findings. 

Please note this list is NOT ranked. 

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Australia 2023 Evaluation Methodology

Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Best Workplaces™ Australia 2023 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of almost 50,000 employees across Australia.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organisation creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organisation, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyse these experiences relative to each organisation’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organisation to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

 

Categories

These organisations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

For larger organisations with more than 100 employees, we also use our Culture Audit™ tool, asking organisations to share with us their practices, policies and programs to creating a great workplace For All™ and evaluating the approach they take.

Why do you say in one place your national list scoring is based on 85%/15% and in another place that it is 75%/25%?

We are explaining two different things:

1.  The criteria we evaluate

2.  Where the data comes from