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InPsych 2016 | Vol 38

October | Issue 5

Psychology in current issues

Update from the 2016 Workplace Excellence Awards

Banks, resources firms, telecommunications companies and disability services were among the organisations honoured in the 2016 Workplace Excellence Awards, celebrated last month as part of the historic APS Congress.

The Workplace Excellence Awards recognise innovation and best practice in the application of organisational psychology in workplaces in Australia. They are an initiative of the APS College of Organisational Psychologists and aim to demonstrate the transformative effect of applied psychology on business performance.

BHP Billiton, which is facing a challenging period of consolidation in the resources sector, won the Learning and Development award for a leadership program which has been successfully rolled out to 5,000 employees. The program, which replaced 32 separate schemes operating throughout the business, allowed the company to prepare its workforce for the changing external conditions.

Vice President, Organisational Capability at BHP Billiton, Suzan McDaniel stated: “We are so humbled to win this award. We believe that culture is a true enabler of business performance and to be recognised for some truly innovative work that enables us to drive performance is awesome.”

Disability Services Australia – a not-for-profit that employs more than 1,000 staff – won the Organisational Change award for its work to prepare its staff for the major changes and opportunities bought about by the advent of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). It engaged staff at all levels and has been credited with reducing staff turnover and improving workplace safety.

Gordon Wilkins, Human Resources Director at Disability Services Australia, said: “For a small not-for-profit to be in such exalted company means a lot to us. These are fantastic awards that recognise the achievements not only of big companies but small companies like ourselves.”

Telstra, working with the consultant Think Howe, won the Organisational Design category for its program to assist employees experiencing long-term absence due to work-related injuries. A coordinated program featuring better communication with healthcare providers, vocational training and social support, has allowed Telstra to increase the rate of return to work, reducing costs and improving quality of life for affected workers.

Commonwealth Bank Australia, working with Coaching and Consulting International, won the award for Coaching: Leadership, Career and Performance for “Can Coaching”, a program launched in concert with a transformed corporate philosophy and rebranding of the bank.

Mark Whiteley, General Manager, Leadership and Development at Commonwealth Bank, said: “The work that has gone into this has been absolutely huge. Given the commitment of the organisation and the outcomes we’ve seen: this is a wonderful acknowledgement.”

The 2016 results were announced at a gala dinner at Hilton South Wharf in Melbourne. Visit the Workplace Excellence Awards website at www.workplaceexcellenceawards.com.au for photos and videos and to learn more about the process for entering in 2017.


Disclaimer: Published in InPsych on October 2016. The APS aims to ensure that information published in InPsych is current and accurate at the time of publication. Changes after publication may affect the accuracy of this information. Readers are responsible for ascertaining the currency and completeness of information they rely on, which is particularly important for government initiatives, legislation or best-practice principles which are open to amendment. The information provided in InPsych does not replace obtaining appropriate professional and/or legal advice.