Salesforce tops Best Places to Work; MEC and OMD make the cut

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 31 August 2016
The team at Maxus.

Salesforce has come out on top in the 2016 Best Places to Work in Australia list, in the more than 100 employees category.

Last year Australian technology powerhouse Atlassian took out the top spot for companies employing more than 100 people, it now sits at the number three.

Also last year, UM's Sydney office was named the best place to work in the under 100 employees category, but this year it did not make the list. Despite a case of sour grapes at the time, with some agencies claiming UM Sydney actually had more than 100 staff, AdNews was told UM Sydney had 97 people, as defined by the “Best Place to Work” criteria.

This year, the best place to work in the under 100 employees category went to IT/storage and data management business Rackspace.

Rackspace ANZ general manager and senior director Angus Dorney says: "This achievement is a well-deserved acknowledgement of our incredible team and their dedication to helping their peers. While we’ve continued to rank highly over the past few years, our focus has never shifted from growing our workplace and the opportunities it presents to our incredibly valued, talented employees."

Marketing software company Salesforce beat a number of rivals for the number one spot in what was formerly known as the BRW Best Place to Work list. It's a huge jump for Salesforce, which has 684 staff, as it didn't appear on the ranking at all last year.

Salesforce Asia Pacific GM and EVP Mark Innes says: "At Salesforce, we build our culture around the spirit of Ohana, which means “family” in Hawaiian. Ohana represents the idea that families – related or chosen – are bound together, with its members feeling a sense of responsibility for one another.”

Another ad tech/marketing software firm to get close to the holy grail was Adobe, which came in at number five. It has 245 staff here.

Speaking to AdNews, MD Adobe Australia and New Zealand, Chris Skelton, says: “It’s an honour for Adobe to have been ranked among the top places to work in Australia this year. Creating and maintaining the best work environment possible to help our employees feel supported and produce work that is both fulfilling and innovative is a key priority for us. This recognition underscores that commitment to company culture.”

Media agency MEC was seventh on the list (135 staff) followed by OMD Australia (491 staff) at number 10 – an increase from its 18th placement last year.

MEC Australia CEO James Hier says: "What I love about the Best Places to Work rankings is that it’s about the floor – it demonstrates what our people think of us. To debut at number nine last year was a great honour and I believe it’s not easy to retain a top 10 position.

"That's why we’re excited that our people have sent us even higher this year with a number seven ranking. Fostering an inclusive internal culture is a team effort and I personally appreciate the hard work and camaraderie within MEC offices. We’ll be doing quite a bit of celebrating across the country.”

Looking client-side, global food manufacturer Mars Australia was number 18 on the ranking while Estee Lauder was number 24.

Under 100 employees

In companies under 100 employees, Meltwater News Australia came in at number 11 (62 staff), followed by email marketing software business Campaign Monitor (86 staff) at number 12.

Meltwater director for Australia and New Zealand David Hickey says its focus on fun and having a sense of purpose is the reason for its high ranking.

“At Meltwater employee happiness and job satisfaction are built on two key things,” Hickey says.

“The first is our staff have fun doing their jobs. Second is they feel a strong sense of belonging due to the recognition they receive and our supportive culture, which is based on respect and openness. We do everything we can help people enjoy the work they do by creating genuine connections between their day to day jobs and the company’s overall mission and objectives.”

Maxus Communications (56 staff) was number 15 on the list, up from 23 last year. Ad tech player Amobee (60 staff) was number 20, a fall from fifth place in last year's rankings.

Responding to AdNews' question on how the Maxus team might be celebrating, Melbourne MD Karly Fragiacomo says: "The team might not be getting a half day but they will be getting Champagne - for sure!"

Amobee ANZ MD Liam Walsh says the team is thrilled to be on the list again as culture and staff satisfaction is an important foundtion to its growth and success.

"The digital advertising industry is fast moving and can be pressurised and challenging," Walsh says.

"We place a lot of focus on internal training and education, and providing resources and knowledge so our staff can grow and develop with our industry. Advertising is now about media, data, and technology, and its imperative that people feel welcomed and valued in this environment of intense change."

It is the ninth time the list of Australia's best workplaces, formerly known as the BRW Best Places to Work List, has been collated. See last year's here.

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