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Aon launches smartMonday super fund
Equity Trustees and Aon in $5.2 billion super alliance
Aon announces 2017 Best Employers (28 July 2017)
Cisco Systems take top award in Aon Best Employers 2016 (2 June 2016)
Aon Master Trust wins 2015 Retail Super Fund of the Year (21 August 2015)
Aon Master Trust Appoints New Head (30 July 2015)
Aon Master Trust launches direct investment option (7 July 2015)
Aon Hewitt announces 2015 Best Employers (3 June 2014)
Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders® 2014 announced (3 December 2014)
Aon Master Trust wins Personal Super Fund of the Year Award (22 August 2014)
2013 Aon Hewitt Best Employers announced (5 June 2013)
Losing the leadership battle: Less than half of leaders deemed effective (16 August 2012)
2012 Aon Hewitt Best Employers announced (4 June 2012)


Aon launches smartMonday super fund

SYDNEY, 6 November 2017 Aon strengthens its commitment to growth and member experience with its latest superannuation solution.

Aon has today launched smartMonday, a transformation of the $3.3 billion Aon Master Trust, in its new approach to superannuation. The new market offering focuses on empowering employers and fund members with smarter and simpler access to control their super, to enable them to create a more financially secure future.

The launch follows the recent announcement that Aon has formed an alliance with Equity Trustees, which will create a $5.2 billion superannuation trust subject to trustee approval in 2018.

The new smartMonday portal brings everything that employers and members need together through smart easy actions and provides tools that are user-friendly to help members make better decisions about their superannuation savings and retirement outcomes.

Aon Hewitt Chief Executive Officer for the Pacific, Steven Gaffney said, “Building on our award-winning super fund we’ve created a new style of fund that makes taking action easy. We want to put members in control of their super because it’s the small things done today that will make their futures more secure.”

Mr Gaffney added, “These latest market offerings are examples of how Aon is driving business growth through strategic and innovative solutions and partnerships. Backed by Aon globally, we are constantly looking for new opportunities to add value to our offer. 2017 has been an incredible year, and we are looking forward to sharing more announcements and further enhancements in the coming months.”

For further information about smartMonday please go to smartMonday.com.au

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Equity Trustees and Aon in $5.2 billion super alliance

SYDNEY, 23 October, 2017 EQT Holdings Ltd (ASX: EQT), the holding company for Equity Trustees, and Aon today announced they had entered into an alliance that will create a $5.2 billion superannuation partnership to service Australia’s rapidly growing superannuation market.

Equity Trustees and Aon will merge the Aon Master Trust and The Executive Superannuation Fund, subject to the approval of the funds’ trustee boards.

Under the alliance, Equity Trustees will assume responsibility for the trustee services (subject to approval from the regulator) and Aon will assume responsibility for products and distribution.

Aon is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. The Aon Master Trust is an award-winning superannuation fund offering superannuation, retirement and lifestyle products and services to corporate clients, self-employed individuals and individual savers.

Equity Trustees is Australia’s leading specialist trustee company and operates The Executive Superannuation Fund.

Equity Trustees Managing Director Mick O’Brien said the alliance would allow both groups to offer Australians innovative retirement solutions, using the strengths and capabilities of each organisation and was consistent with Equity Trustees’ strategy to focus on its core fiduciary capability.

“With $130 billion in funds under management globally, Aon brings international expertise to superannuation solutions at a time when the industry is increasingly moving to a global outlook,” Mr O’Brien said.

Aon Hewitt Pacific Chief Executive Officer Steven Gaffney said the alliance would allow Aon to offer alternative, flexible and independent solutions to its members. “Equity Trustees brings its specialist independent trustee skills to an industry that is growing, and increasingly dependent on capable and trustworthy oversight,” he said.

“The relationship with Equity Trustees means we can empower our members and provide access to a broader range of products and services to secure a better future for themselves.

“The increased breadth and depth of the fund means we will be positioned to offer even greater advantages for our members, including lower costs and increased buying power to provide superior investment options.”

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Aon announces 2017 Best Employers

SYDNEY, 28 July 2017 – Online Education Services has been awarded the title of Aon Best of the Best Employer 2017 during an awards lunch held in Sydney today.

In its seventeenth year, the Aon Best Employers program is Australia and New Zealand’s leading accreditation and research program looking at the people practices of high performing organisations. In 2017, a total of 16 organisations across Australia and New Zealand have been recognised as Aon Best Employers.

The 2017 Aon Best Employers are (in alphabetical order):
Chorus NZ Ltd
Coca-Cola Amatil New Zealand
Colliers International
Eden Brae Homes
FedEx Express (New Zealand)
National Transport Insurance
Nova Entertainment
Online Education Services (2017 Best of the Best)
Peoplecare Health
Prospa
SEEK Limited
Wood & Grieve Engineers
Woods
Yarra Valley Water
Z Energy
Z Energy - Retail Team

“I am extremely proud to work with so many talented people whose hard work and commitment to our values has allowed us to be recognised as Best of the Best.” Said Denice Pitt, CEO, Online Education Services.

Insights announced today at the annual ceremony revealed Aon Best Employers have a much higher level of employee engagement, 81 per cent, compared to 59 per cent at other organisations.

Aon Best Employers provide a culture of committed and open leadership to drive performance, with 80 per cent of employees at Aon Best Employers saying their senior leadership is visible and accessible compared to 56 per cent at other organisations.

“Businesses are increasingly operating under changing and complex circumstances, including shifting economic and political climates. Organisations have to deal with increased volatility, complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity,” said Stephen Hickey, Partner and Head of Employee Engagement, Asia Pacific & Middle East, Aon.

“Aon Best Employers really take a strong hold on their approach to change management and recognise that they must adapt their employee engagement strategy and drivers to align with this changing landscape. This level of heightened awareness and adaptability is what is setting Aon Best Employers apart from the rest. Best Employers use change as a means to actively engage with their people, in contrast to many other organisations who are worried about change disengaging their people,” Mr. Hickey added.

The 2017 Aon Best Employers survey revealed several emerging trends:

An increased focus on the customer

Aon Best Employers have increased their focus on the customer with 81 per cent responding to changing needs compared to 58 per cent at other organisations.

“Aon Best Employers place greater emphasis on the customer and the end goal, and are really focusing on putting people first. Investing in employees and encouraging them to suggest improvements, enables businesses to provide the best levels of service for customers.” said Stephen Hickey.

Connecting employees with vision and purpose

According to the results, 75 per cent of those who work at an Aon Best Employer believe that their organisation's vision and goals provide meaningful direction to them, compared to 56 per cent at other employers.

“In today’s ever evolving business environment, Aon Best Employers are excelling in connecting and aligning the hearts and minds of their employees with the vision and purpose of their organisation. It is increasingly becoming important as it helps employees to understand the value of their work and in turn boosts productivity and engagement.” said Mr. Hickey.

A commitment to employee health, safety and well-being

Aon Best Employers are more committed to the health, safety and well-being of their employees. 94 per cent of employees at Aon Best Employers think that workplace safety and security are considered important in their organisation.

“Employees are increasingly asked to be ‘always on’ and it has become the norm to work beyond nine to five, especially as people are constantly connected to their workplace through smartphones. Organisations are asking more of their employees which can often lead to increased stress and pressure to balance work and life commitments. Aon Best Employers are very good at putting in place strategies to help manage this added pressure with 78 per cent of employees saying work related stress is manageable for them,” continued Mr. Hickey.

“Online education Services are incredibly deserving of this status of Best of the Best in 2017. Their commitment to delivering an outstanding customer experience through highly engaged and passionate people is of the highest standard.” Concluded Mr. Hickey.

Other key findings from the 2017 Aon Best Employers Australia and New Zealandsurvey:

  • Aon Best Employers ensure and maintain a minimum of 80 per cent engagement across all levels of employee hierarchy, be it a team member of senior management
  • Aon Best Employers maintain consistently high levels of employee engagement ( no lower than 80 per cent), regardless of employee age group
  • Aon Best Employers are successful at engaging employees throughout their tenure, regardless of time spent at the organisation

Additional insights from the Aon Best Employers survey are available upon request.

Find out more about the Aon Best Employers accreditation program

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Cisco Systems take top award in Aon Best Employers 2016

SYDNEY, 2 June 2016 – Cisco Systems has achieved the title of Aon Best of the Best Employer 2016 at an awards lunch held in Sydney. In its sixteenth cycle, the Aon Best Employers program is Australia and New Zealand’s leading accreditation and research program looking at the people practices of high performing organisations. In 2016, a total of 14 Australian and New Zealand organisations have been accredited as Aon Best Employers. The 2016 Aon Best Employers are (in alphabetical order):

Blackmores
Cisco Systems
Chorus New Zealand Ltd
Coca-Cola Amatil New Zealand
DHL Express (New Zealand) Limited Eden Brae Homes
Estée Lauder Companies Pty Ltd, Australia
Estée Lauder Companies, New Zealand
Federal Express Pacific, LLC
Online Education Services
Renault Australia
SEEK
Wood & Grieve Engineers
Z Energy

 

“I am thrilled that our continued efforts to create a great place to work have been recognised through this prestigious award. In a fast-changing environment, developing a culture of trust and transparency, along with workplace flexibility, gender equality, recognition of achievement and philanthropic programs, has enabled strong business performance,” said Adrian West, Head of HR, Cisco Systems Australia and New Zealand.

The 2016 Aon Best Employers Australia and New Zealand insights revealed Aon Best Employers have greater levels of gender equality in leadership, with twice the number of female leaders in middle management and above, compared to numbers of female people leaders at other organisations.

Aon Best Employers also outperform other organisations, with a 6 per cent median revenue growth and twice as many highly engaged employees.

The insights also revealed that workplace flexibility is the new normal, with 73 per cent of employees surveyed by Aon reporting they have the flexibility to modify their work schedule to address personal situations. Organisations that are not open to flexible work are falling behind the rest.

In addition, 87 per cent of the Aon Best Employers have a specific communication strategy in place to communicate flexible work arrangements to all employees. All accredited organisations offer both formal and informal work flexibility, including working remotely, flexible working hours and part-time work.

The 140 organisations and over 83,293 employees surveyed also recognised the importance of ensuring their employment brand is aligned to their external market brand, and consistently enriches the employee experience. In this way, Aon Best Employers attract and retain top quality to their organisations, with 77 per cent of employees at Aon Best Employer organisations delivering on their employment promises, compared to 55 per cent at other organisations.

“Cisco has claimed the title of Aon’s Best of the Best Employer 2016 for its high levels of employee engagement and culture of trust, effective leadership and communication, flexibility and autonomy given to employees and focus on giving back to society,” said Reetta Horan, Head of Engagement, Aon Hewitt, Pacific. “The company has exceptional communication practices and strong leadership to connect employees to the organisation’s purpose and keep them constantly up-to-date with company’s performance and market trends”.

“This year’s report revealed that 100 per cent of Aon Best Employers rate their strong culture and engagement as a core competitive advantage. Through exceptional people practices, Aon Best Employers engage employees to stay at the organisation, speak highly of their employer and strive to deliver discretionary effort for the organisation.”

The findings highlighted that Aon Best Employers manage performance through setting clear expectations that are aligned to business strategy. The report revealed that 80 per cent of managers at Aon Best Employer organisations set clear performance expectations with their employees, compared to 67 per cent of other organisations.

“In addition, 93 per cent of Aon Best Employers still believe in their performance management practices and effectively measure and reward individual impact on people and business outcomes. This is indicative of the fact that performance management isn’t obsolete per se, but rather the execution in other organisations often does not stack up to that of Aon Best Employer organisations. Aon Best Employers do performance management exceptionally well,” said Ms Makinen.

Other key findings from the 2016 Aon Best Employers Australia and New Zealand Study:

  • Aon Best Employers have more than twice as many ‘highly engaged’ employees than any other organisations, driving increased discretionary effort across the organisation
  • Aon Best Employers maintain consistently high levels of employee engagement, regardless of employee age group
  • Aon Best Employers understand that leaders must be engaged to create high levels of engagement and performance inside their teams
  • Aon Best Employers are successful at engaging employees throughout their tenure, regardless of time spent at the organisation

The full insights from the Aon Best Employers research is available upon request.



Find out more about the Aon Best Employers accreditation program

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Aon Master Trust wins 2015 Retail Super Fund of the Year

SYDNEY, August 21 2015 – The Aon Master Trust has today been awarded “Retail Super Fund of the Year” by the Financial Review Smart Investor Blue Ribbon Awards 2015, for the second year in a row. 

Back-to-back Blue Ribbon award wins recognise Aon’s feature-laden superannuation offering, consistently strong investment outcomes and a fund that is continually being improved by a team of dedicated and passionate professionals. 

“The Aon Master Trust remains focused on innovation, nimbleness and responsiveness to clients to ensure that it remains relevant in the market,” said Steve Gaffney, Chief Executive Officer, Aon Hewitt Pacific. “In a fiercely competitive market, our ability to deliver results to the people who place their trust in us is critical. This award is recognition of our ability to deliver excellence and inspires us to strive to continually improve both the fund and the potential retirement outcomes for the people directing their contributions to the Aon Master Trust.”

As an example of the Aon Master Trust’s innovation, earlier this year it launched its Direct Investment Option (DIO). “Our Direct Investment Option is designed to enhance the client experience, offering members additional control and choice in the investment of their super.” Steve Gaffney commented. “The DIO offering was developed in recognition of members seeking self-managed style options but without the associated cost or hassles.” Gaffney concluded.

Aon Hewitt is a global leader in HR consulting and outsourcing solutions and the Aon Master Trust is one example of how Aon Hewitt helps Australian companies run their business more efficiently, and helps individuals grow their personal wealth.

Find out more about the Aon Master Trust

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Aon Master Trust Appoints New Head

SYDNEY, 30 July 2015 – Aon Hewitt has today announced the appointment of Janice Sengupta as the new head of the multi-award winning Aon Master Trust, bringing over 25 years of industry experience to the role.

As Head of the Aon Master Trust, Sengupta will be tasked with working closely with clients and colleagues to continue the Aon Master Trust’s focus on being innovative, nimble and responsive to its customers to ensure it always remain relevant.  

“We are excited to have Janice spearhead the Aon Master Trust team, a team who from the very beginning has been examining the needs of our clients and are focused on making super simpler,” said Steve Gaffney, Chief Executive Officer, Aon Hewitt Pacific. “We are confident that she will be able to deliver outstanding results for both members and the business in her new role.”

Over the past 25 years Sengupta has worked in financial services in North America and Australia, including a role as econometrician at London Life Insurance in Canada and as an investment strategist to manage the asset allocation for ipac’s diversified funds. Her earlier work also included hands-on experience in portfolio management.

Sengupta first joined Aon’s Sydney office in 2006 as Head of Research with responsibility for fund manager research within Australasia. In 2007, she was promoted to practice leader and principal of Aon's Investment Consulting business in Australia and is now serving as Chief Investment Officer. In 2012, she joined the trustee board of directors for the $3 billion Aon Master Trust. 

“With my new role as Head of the Aon Master Trust I have the opportunity to guide strategy drawing from the thought leadership of Aon’s global investment research experts and utilising connections with the Global Investment Practice Committee,” said Sengupta. “Together with the experience and expertise of the current team, I am confident we will take Aon Master Trust to its next successful stage in evolution.” 

The Aon Master Trust is a multi-award winning fund and was named the 2014 Personal Super Fund of the Year at the Smart Investor Blue Ribbon awards.

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Aon Master Trust launches direct investment option 

A new online experience for members who want to invest their super the self-managed way. 

SYDNEY, 7 July 2015 – Aon Hewitt, in partnership with Lonsec, has today announced the launch of its direct investment option (DIO) for the multi-award winning Aon Master Trust. This new market offering will enable members to have greater control and choice in the investment of their super. 

“Today marks a great leap forward for the Aon Master Trust – our clients have asked and we have delivered what is arguably the most sophisticated direct investment platform in the market,” said Steven Clarke, Principal, Aon Hewitt. 

The launch of DIO is the latest in a series of innovations designed to enhance the client experience and to complement the impressive investment results consistently achieved by the Personal Super Fund of the Year (Smart Investor Blue Ribbon Awards 2014). 

Key features of the DIO online platform include:

  • fully functional online access
  • one-stop shop for ASX200 shares, exchange traded funds and term deposits
  • adviser enabled access 
  • low account, administration and brokerage fees 
  • complimentary access to latest market research and data. 

On Aon’s decision to partner with Lonsec, Mr. Clarke said: “Not only did Lonsec’s direct investment solution have the look and feel we were after, but our clients have access to a fully integrated research and stockbroking solution. These features are combined with a live tax environment, to ensure users get full transparency of their investment in the Aon Master Trust, at any time.”

Lonsec spokesman, Nathan MacPhee said “Lonsec is proud to have Aon as a foundation direct investment client.  Lonsec, in partnership with Recreo Financial, has spent over two years fine tuning the service to ensure that it remains at the forefront of the industry and provides members with an unrivalled experience. Members using the service will enjoy an intuitive site where everything has been designed around the end user, which we believe will be a game changer in this market”.

For more information on Aon Master Trust direct investment option, click here.

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Chorus New Zealand awarded Best of Best in Aon Hewitt Best Employers 2015

Best Employers study reveals link between successful change management and performance advantage

SYDNEY, 3 June 2015 – Chorus New Zealand Ltd has claimed the title of Aon Hewitt Best of Best Employer 2015 at an awards ceremony held in Sydney. 

In its fourteenth cycle, the Aon Hewitt Best Employer study is Australia and New Zealand’s leading research and accreditation program looking at the people practices of high performing organisations. In 2015, a total of 15 Australian and New Zealand organisations have been accredited by Aon Hewitt as Best Employers. 

The 2015 Aon Hewitt Best Employers are (in alphabetical order):

Bristol-Myers Squibb
Chorus New Zealand Ltd
Eden Brae Homes
FedEx Express (New Zealand)
Frucor Beverages New Zealand
Hilti Australia
Marriot Hotels & Resorts – Australia
Microsoft Australia and New Zealand
Millward Brown Australia
Peoplebank Australia Limited
Renault Australia
SEEK Limited
Swinburne Online
Wood & Grieve Engineers Ltd
Z Energy

“I’m so delighted that the sustained effort by all of us to make Chorus the best place we’ve ever worked has been recognised. The value of engaged employees is reflected in our business results, and we’ve been working towards the same level of engagement with all our stakeholders,” said Mark Ratcliffe, CEO, Chorus.

The latest Aon Hewitt Best Employers Australia and New Zealand study revealed Best Employers are characterised by the way they drive increased discretionary effort from their workforce as a result of more effective, outcomes-focussed people management practices.

The report also highlighted the effective management of change as an overarching theme for Best Employers, with the ability of companies to deal with change shown to be a major driver of staff engagement and business performance.

While over 70 per cent of the 92,500+ employees covered in the study recognised the need for organisations to continually evolve and adapt to changing market forces, Best Employers stood out for their successful execution of change. Almost nine out of 10 (88 per cent) of employees at Best Employers believe change is well managed in their workplace and that change initiatives help to improve business performance. Comparatively, only 66 per cent of employees at other organisations provided this response.

“Chorus was named the Aon Hewitt Best of Best 2015 for its outstanding people practices, which was exemplified when its organisation was facing change. Effective change management strategies are crucial in fostering and maintaining an engaged and productive workforce,” said Stephen Hickey, Partner and Head of Talent, Aon Hewitt. “In today’s dynamic business environment, there is significant value in organisations using employee engagement as a way to drive performance outcomes, both within the business and externally.”

“This year’s report revealed that Best Employers have the ability to navigate change in their business whilst delivering on performance targets at the same time. This not only improves employee confidence and performance, but also offers a significant competitive advantage in a rapidly evolving market,” Mr Hickey added.

The study also revealed that Best Employers successfully equip their senior managers to effectively manage changes within the organisation. Amongst Best Employers, 81 per cent of senior managers believe major change initiatives are well managed and improve performance, compared to only 58 per cent at other organisations. Echoing this trend, 74 per cent of those reporting into senior management at Best Employers feel change is handled well and improves performance, compared to just 42 per cent of employees at other organisations.

“Data shows us that engaged leaders stabilise their teams by implementing people practices to ensure staff strive for the best even during times of organisation change and volatility,” Mr Hickey said. “In particular, middle managers are pivotal to change execution and want to see initiatives managed more effectively. This is vitally important, as this year’s Best Employers report reveals a direct link between change management and business performance.”

Other key findings from the 2015 Aon Hewitt Best Employers Australia and New Zealand Study:

  • Best Employers have more than twice as many ‘highly engaged’ employees than any other organisations, driving increased discretionary effort across the organisation 
  • Best Employers understand that leaders must be engaged to create high levels of engagement and performance inside their teams 
  • Best Employers maintain consistently high levels of employee engagement, regardless of age group. However, there is growing concern for the 25 to 44-year-old age demographic who are the least engaged, despite representing the future of their organisations

Find out more about the Aon Hewitt Best Employers program

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Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders® 2014 announced

The new standard for leadership is set

SYDNEY, 3 December 2014

Aon Hewitt, part of Aon plc (NYSE:AON) the leading global provider of risk management and human resource consulting and outsourcing, today announced DHL Express (Australia) Pty Ltd, Lion and Z Energy as the 2014 Aon Hewitt Top Companies For Leaders (top companies) in Australia and New Zealand, in recognition of their excellence in creating environments where leaders grow.

The Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders study evaluates and recognises what it takes to execute best-in-class leadership and talent management across the globe. This year’s Australian and New Zealand top companies were selected and ranked by a panel of independent judges using a number of criteria, including assessing strategies and success in the attraction, identification, retention and development of leadership talent.

“A new normal now exists. Leadership practices that used to differentiate are now commonplace within Australia and New Zealand. However, a new benchmark has now been set by Aon Hewitt’s 2014 Top Companies - DHL, Lion and Z Energy. These top companies all exhibit highly effective practices that, combined with clear outcomes and measurement, ensure strong leaders are continuously coming up through the ranks,” said James Rutherford, Principal and Head of Leadership at Aon Hewitt.

Z Energy was recognised as a top company because it embeds a positive leadership culture, provide leadership development opportunities and integrate leadership expectations into on-boarding and induction processes. Lion develops authentic leaders, drives culture and engagement through leaders, identifies future leaders and helps them flourish. While DHL was praised for promoting diversity and inclusion through leadership, providing strong leadership development frameworks and creating and embedding engaging leaders within the business.

The 2014 Australian and New Zealand insights showed that top companies are moving the dial and taking their practices beyond the ‘new normal’. Aon Hewitt’s 2014 Top Companies for Leaders study identified six areas where top companies within Australia and New Zealand are setting a new standard:

Top companies are moving from:

  • Processes to outcomes: It is no longer about processes, policies or simply completing an activity or program. Top companies consistently measure the effectiveness of such practices and hold their leaders accountable for the outcomes.
    • Key data point: 90% of top companies hold leaders accountable for the promotion rate of high potentials Vs 30% of other organisations.
  • Engagement measurement to developing engaging leaders: Almost all organisations now measure engagement, top companies however have an increased focus on the selection, attraction and development of leaders who through their personality, sense of purpose, experience and behaviours create engagement in their organisations.
    • Key data point: 65% of top companies hold leaders accountable for the engagement levels of Managers and Managers’ direct reports Vs 30% of other organisations.
  • Diversity to inclusion: Top companies focus much more on the gathering of diverse perspectives and insights from both within their organisation and externally.
    • Key data point: 70% of top companies track gender diversity for successors to the CEO Vs 43% of other organisations.
  • Accumulating followers to developing leaders: Top companies believe that the primary role of leaders is to identify and nurture upcoming leaders.
    • Key data point: 95% of top companies use 360 degree feedback to assess how leaders are developing their talent Vs 55% of other organisations.
  • Assessing skill to aligning for fit: Top companies assess both the skills required for the future success of the organisation and the fit to the organisation’s aspired culture and strategy.
    • Key data point: 75% of top companies use personality assessments to measure the potential of front line managers Vs 49% of other organisations.
  • Higher performance to higher purpose: It’s not just about performance, top companies create a sense of higher purpose and look at how they contribute to the environment and how their strategy affects the communities in which they work.
    • Key data point: Top companies are twice as likely as other organisations to offer employees special assignments directly related to their CSR strategy.

Find out more about the Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders program

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Aon Master Trust cited as ‘best of breed’ personal super solution in coveted Smart Investor Blue Ribbon Awards

SYDNEY, 22 August 2014

The Aon Master Trust has today claimed the coveted Smart Investor Blue Ribbon ‘Best of the Best’ Award for Personal Super Fund of the Year.

Award judges cited a range of features that set the $2.8 billion, 55,000 member fund apart. In addition to describing extremely high performance over the long term across its capital stable, balanced and growth options as “impossible to ignore”, they pointed to features the fund offers members through the leveraging of Aon’s global skills and partnerships, saying that “there is more to a superior personal fund than just good returns”.

“As the biggest risk broker in the world, Aon can use its partnerships with companies such as insurance giant AIA and fund manager Vanguard to provide features at a cost few can match,” the judges said. Steven Gaffney, CEO of Aon Hewitt Pacific added that as the world’s largest investment consulting firm, Aon Hewitt have negotiated attractive fees with fund managers such as Russell, Vanguard and others – benefitting their members.

Steven Gaffney noted that the approach of the Aon Master Trust has always been to provide members with not only a ‘best value for money’ solution, but one that also addresses their needs more holistically.

“We are very conscious that our clients – and advisers on behalf of their clients – want more than just excellent investment performance and a comprehensive suite of insurance solutions. They also value broader, deeper services via our integrated telephone support and counselling services and our strong customer service ethos that focuses on education.”

Speaking of future plans for the fund, Mr. Gaffney highlighted the upcoming pipeline of innovative developments to ensure the fund continues to lead the pack in the delivery of both investment returns and holistic benefits that offer both financial and emotional support.

“We are building a market‐leading Scaled Advice offering to ensure advice is available for simple one‐off matters, complementing our existing comprehensive offering. We are also developing a direct investment offer that will give those members who want it, additional control and choice,” he explained.

“What it all comes down to is flexibility – a luxury we can offer our members because we’re small enough to care, but big enough to count. In an environment where consolidation and consequent vast scale and standardisation are the prevailing trends in super, our position and ability to deliver on a personal level for members is unique. I think the Award recognises this fact, which makes us all the more proud to have received it.”

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2013 Aon Hewitt Best Employers announced

Stern times call for better leaders

SYDNEY, 5 June 2013

Latest research shows engagement and leadership the keys to success in difficult times

While all businesses face similar challenges in times of economic uncertainty, some are far better prepared than others to survive and even prosper – despite the difficulties. Those businesses are the ones with higher levels of employee engagement.

This is one of the topline findings of the 2013 Aon Hewitt Best Employers study for Australia and New Zealand. The report is the latest in the headland people performance research series that’s been run since 2001. The 2013 study includes data from a survey of over 100,000 employees from 125 organisations. This year, 19 companies across Australia and New Zealand have been accredited as Aon Hewitt Best Employers: those with the highest levels of employee engagement and outstanding people practices.

“All employers are confronted by the same set of economic circumstances, but our Best Employers are able to do a substantially better job of leading and managing the workforce to create high levels of engagement. This mitigates many of the economic issues they face – leading to better results,” said Stephen Hickey, Employee Engagement Lead at Aon Hewitt.

“Best Employers achieve four times higher profit growth than other organisations,” said Mr Hickey. “And, when it comes to total shareholder return, we’re talking 50% above average levels.”

Despite recent economic uncertainty, Best Employers are maintaining their focus on employee engagement – and reaping the rewards.

“It is the decisions that an organisation’s leaders are making about how to lead it when times are tough that can dictate the levels of engagement – which in turn affect how well a company is likely to perform,” explained Mr Hickey.

He went on to say that most organisations today are seeking to restore growth from low cost baselines – achieving more with less. And, he asserted, this takes a very different set of leadership skills than those that applied before the GFC.

“In essence, while we continue to see Best Employers engaging, building leadership and taking a differentiated position in the employment market, the strategy for delivery has evolved over the last few years. Difficult times are not the factor. It’s how we respond to them that counts.”

Mr Hickey cited a number of examples from the 2013 Aon Hewitt Best Employers that support this position. These include the growing move to develop people leadership capability as a core competency within an organisation rather than a secondary focus; a more concerted push to connect middle managers to the broader business strategy; and a greater willingness to identify and single out an organisation’s best performers for additional rewards.

“All of these measures are likely to boost engagement. And with improved engagement comes increased discretionary effort, increased retention, an increased desire among employees to strive to do their best,” said Mr Hickey. “There is also the considerable benefit of the brand differentiation that Best Employers enjoy. In a tight labour market they become employers of choice. They are able to hold on to the best people – and those people are able to reap the material and career satisfaction rewards of working with passionate and engaged colleagues.”

By way of example, Mr Hickey cited Marriott Hotels & Resorts, which achieved Best of the Best status, as an organisation that has demonstrated excellence in a number of key areas.

This includes its ability to promote a highly aligned culture that supports the overall company aim of consistent and superior customer service. The company has also had to address attracting and retaining quality employees despite local skills shortages and relatively high wage costs at a time of global cost constraint and productivity focus.

The 2013 Aon Hewitt Best Employers are:
Bristol-Myers Squibb, Chorus, Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers, Employment Innovations, Express Data, FedEx Express (New Zealand), Fiat Chrysler Group, Frucor Beverages Australia, Frucor Beverages New Zealand, Hilti (Aust.) Pty Ltd, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Millward Brown Australia, Peoplebank Australia Limited, Shire Australia Pty Ltd, Silver Chef Ltd, Smartsalary Pty Ltd, STIHL Pty Ltd, The Wrigley Company Limited and Wood & Grieve Engineers.

Marriott Hotels & Resorts won the Aon Hewitt 2013 Best of the Best accreditation.

Key findings from the Best Employers study for Australia and New Zealand include:

  • Best Employers achieve four times higher profit growth than other organisations
  • Organisations with high employee engagement achieve 50% higher Total Shareholder Return outcomes than other organisations
  • In 2012 and 2013, 38% of organisations improved their level of employee engagement
  • 83% of Best Employers have an explicit employer brand, compared to only 39% of other organisations.

Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to keep up to date with the latest Best Employers news. Use #2013BestEmployers to take part in the conversation.

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Losing the leadership battle: Less than half of leaders deemed effective

SYDNEY, 16 August 2012

Only 49% of employees believe their leaders are effective, falling from 51% in 2011.

The Aon Hewitt study of nearly 71,000 Australian and New Zealand employees across over 150 organisations also revealed that only 52% of employees felt that senior leaders were worthy of their trust.

“In tough economic times leadership is harder, with employees demanding more from their managers in times of uncertainty.” comments Aon Hewitt’s Head of Leadership Consulting, James Rutherford. “Effective leadership is strongly linked with organisational success and leaders are clearly failing to have impact. Organisations need to step up and start investing in the development of their leaders.” Rutherford advises.

Not many organisations are successful at developing effective leaders and a strong leadership pipeline. Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders study is the world’s most comprehensive study of leadership and talent management with 478 companies participating in 2011. Two Australian organisations - Coca-Cola Amatil Limited and Commonwealth Bank of Australia were named a ‘Aon Hewitt Top Company for Leaders’ in the 2011 study.

“These businesses know that developing talent is their top priority; they place a premium on talent and know that strong leadership is more than a competitive advantage. It separates world-class companies from the rest” comments Rutherford.

The study indentified that Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders:

  • Execute the fundamentals very well
  • Believe that the HOW matters more than the WHAT
  • Have a cadence to their leadership processes that continually strengthens the pipeline
  • Build leaders who achieve results
  • Are never satisfied.

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2012 Aon Hewitt Best Employers announced

SYDNEY, 4 June 2012

Aon Hewitt announced its 2012 Best Employers in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) survey, with Microsoft being named the Best of the Best for 2012.

Fourteen organisations received the Aon Hewitt Best Employer accreditation in 2012 including Chorus New Zealand Limited, Express Data, FedEx Express (Australia), FedEx Express (New Zealand), Frucor Beverages Australia, Hilti Australia, Janssen Australia and New Zealand, Microsoft Australia Pty Ltd, Peoplebank Australia Limited, SEEK Limited, Shire Australia Pty Ltd, Starlight's Children's Foundation, Trilby Misso Lawyers and Wood & Grieve Engineers Limited.

Now in its twelfth year, the study reflected the opinions of over 74,000 employees across 165 companies within Australia and New Zealand, from this, 102 companies participated in the 2012 Best Employers accreditation program.

"Aon Hewitt Best Employers have a fundamental belief that developing a highly engaged and productive workforce is a non-negotiable requirement" comments James Rutherford, Best Employer program lead, Aon Hewitt "Best employers do more than create a nice place to work. They create the conditions for people to excel and contribute discretionary effort."

The 2012 study identified five distinguishable characteristics of a Best Employer:

  • unwavering commitment from senior leaders to the importance of developing highly engaged and productive employees
  • clear performance expectations that align people to the organisation's goals and values, and bring meaning to their work
  • people managers who create the conditions for their people to excel
  • reward and recognition practices that encourage employees to contribute discretionary effort
  • clear communication on what employees can expect which in turn helps the organisation to be more competitive in attracting and retaining in a tight labour market.
Engagement linked to productivity and profitability

The links between engagement, discretionary effort and productivity are proven, with Aon Hewitt Best Employers delivering on average 9% more profit per employee and double the revenue growth of other organisations. Despite this, and the increasingly competitive global market, only 31% of Australian and New Zealand organisations are improving employee engagement levels.

"Many Australian and New Zealand organisations are currently facing substantial market challenges. Despite these challenges, boards, shareholder and other stakeholders expect most organisations to develop and deliver on growth targets." comments Stephen Hickey, employee engagement practice lead, Aon Hewitt. "In this environment, there is significant value in organisations using employee engagement and the discretionary effort of their people to drive performance outcomes" Hickey concludes.

NOTES TO EDITORS:
Aon Hewitt's research covers those organisations participating in the 2012 Best Employer accreditation process, along with Aon Hewitt's Engagement clients that have also included the Best Employers items into their engagement survey. This group represents a data set of over 74,000 employees from over 165 organisations and remains the most extensive research study of its type in the region.

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