Flight Centre scores perfect Ten

By Raewyn Court

The high-flying Flight Centre team. Photo / Ted Baghurst
The high-flying Flight Centre team. Photo / Ted Baghurst

For just the second time in the history of the Kenexa Best Workplaces Survey, a long-time, high-achieving participant has been honoured with a Ten Year League award.

Flight Centre (NZ) Ltd received the award last night by virtue of having been a 10-time finalist in the large organisation category since 2002. The retail and corporate travel company was also the category winner from 2002-09, and overall winner in 2006.

Sue Matson, Flight Centre's peopleworks and human resources leader, attributes the company's consistently high success rate to a culture of growth, both from a business and personal perspective. She says that underlying everything is the cultural belief that people will leave the organisation better off than when they joined. "It is up to each individual to choose what that looks like and therefore create their own 'Brightness of Future', but it is the company's responsibility to help each individual grow," she says. "The culture and organisation grows - because the people within grow - in self-belief, confidence and skills. It's truly amazing to watch."

The Ten Year League Award was introduced in 2010, when it was awarded to first-time recipient AMI Insurance, to recognise sustained performance in the Kenexa Best Workplaces Survey. The criteria for achieving Ten Year League status is that an organisation must be a finalist in any size category in the current year, and must have been a size category finalist at least 10 times within the last 12 calendar years.

Matson says that fundamental to the culture at Flight Centre is recognition for a job well done, consistent acknowledgement of great performance, and rewards for great work.

"Flight Centre has many different forums in which we gain feedback from our people, on how they feel and what they need to continue to feel satisfied in their work," says Matson. "The Kenexa Best Workplaces Survey helps us see if we are heading in the right direction, and it's hugely beneficial to be able to benchmark our performance year-on-year and as a business against other great organisations across New Zealand."

Matson says the Global Gathering is the ultimate Flight Centre recognition vehicle. "Our people strive to reach targets, individually and as a team, to be offered a spot at a massive 48 hour conference and festival which rewards our top performing people every year. This year, Cancun is our destination and over the past few years the gathering has been held in amazing locations including Singapore, Paris, Las Vegas and Barcelona. As one of our key philosophies says, 'what gets rewarded gets done'."

ORGANISATION 5-10 HISTORY

* AA Insurance (5-year league) - Finalist consistently 2008-12. Category and Overall winner 2011

* Inspire Group (5-year league) - Finalist consistently 2007-12

* Mars New Zealand (5-year league) - Finalist consistently 2007-12. Category winner 2010-11, Overall winner 2010

* Maven International (5-year league) - Finalist 2005-08 and 2010-12. Category winner 2007

* Overland Footwear (5-year league) - Finalist consistently 2005-12

* Flight Centre (NZ) (10-year league) - Finalist consistently 2002-09

- NZ Herald

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