Summit top of its class
Family-owned company named as one of best workplaces in Australia
Friendliness and camaraderie, excellent employee programs, extensive training opportunities, an open-door management policy and a commitment to the local community are among the key attributes of a positive workplace.
These and other factors helped Myaree-based Summit Homes Group achieve recognition as one of Australia's best workplaces, through the BRW Best Places to Work Study, with 97 per cent of staff saying the company was a great place to work and 96 per cent saying they felt proud to work there.
As part of the study, the family-owned building group, which was founded in 1978, was put through a stringent independent workplace assessment, which analysed areas including leadership, employee programs, training opportunities, facilities and community commitment over several months in 2016.
Summit Homes Group finished in the top 10 for the category for workplaces with more than 100 employees, a result manager director David Simpson said highlighted the positive attitude that has defined the company for almost 40 years.
"This result could not have been possible without the camaraderie, motivation, transparency and passion that our employees share at work every day," Mr Simpson said.
Human resources manager Jenelle Pasqua said seeking national endorsement through Best Place to Work verified the belief that employees were part of the "Summit Family".
"We believe this recognition motivates our employees and our managers to continually strive for a collaborative, fun and successful culture, as they know our strategy is to maintain a happy workforce," Ms Pasqua said.
Of the more than 350 Summit employees surveyed, 93 per cent said they felt a sense of pride when they looked at what they accomplished, 95 per cent said it was a friendly place to work and 95 per cent felt good about the ways Summit contributed to the community.
Among the practices the company demonstrated to achieve its ranking included all staff receiving on-the-job training and some completing higher education at no charge, family-friendly and flexible work structures with allowances for part-time, working from home and maternity leave arrangements, and an internally and externally transparent approach to building practices.
Health and wellness programs offered by the group included provision of free fruit each day, discounts on health insurance, wellness workshops and gym memberships, offers of annual flu vaccinations and participation in fitness events to support health-related charities.
Ms Pasqua said the "Summit Samaritan Award" recognised employees who demonstrated a positive difference to those in need, either within the workplace or outside of work to support the community or a charity.
"We have discovered some great stories of humility and have donated cash to employees who demonstrated a positive difference to those in need, either within the workplace or outside of work to support the community or a charity. We have discovered some great stories of humility and have donated cash to employees chosen charities," she said.
"We regularly hold sausage sizzles, morning teas and cake bakes to encourage our team members to donate a gold coin to charity, and each week Casual Friday also benefits different charities."
"Many employees had stayed with the company for the long term, including a number who had been there for three decades, and more than 100 staff members had achieved the 10-year milestone in recent years," she said.
"We consider the length of tenure testament to the great workplace - and we have had situations where people leave us, only to return to stay for a long period."
Originally published in The West Australian Newspaper on January 21, 2017.