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Mt Ruapehu confirmed as one of the best places to work in

first_imgIt’s true – Mt Ruapehu is one of New Zealand’s best playgrounds, and now it’s been confirmed as one of the best places to work in the country.Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL), a finalist in the JRA Best Places to Work Survey, last night won the Most Improved Award in the Large Workplace category (400+ staff).RAL says this is a huge achievement as this is only the second year it has taken part in the survey.“This result has completely exceeded our expectations, we had a five-year plan for this survey to build on our average result from 2008 – but to win this award in our second year is fantastic,” says Jane McGechan, RAL HR manager. “It’s satisfying knowing that what we put in place to improve our staff morale paid off, and our people are happy in their workplace.Ms McGechan says key for her was knowing that 85 percent of the 800 full and part-time staff took the time to complete the survey, an increase of 25 percent in participation on last year. This increase in participation, and a clear improvement in employee satisfaction were the key drivers behind the organisation’s win.“At least 90 percent of our staff don’t have ready access to a computer so we had facilities set up on the mountain, and in Ohakune to make it easy for them to fill in the survey. 85.4 percent of staff said RAL was a fun place to work which to is key for us as our mission is ‘to create maximum vertical fun – Mt Ruapehu, Your Mountain’, and this is supposed to encompass staff and customers alike.“We took part in the JRA survey last year for the first time and found out that our staff were not having as much fun as we had previously thought. We knew we had to change our focus, so targeted communication throughout the company as an area to improve, and put a plan in place to achieve this.“The results are certainly a credit to our management team as they fully supported our new strategy from inception to implementation; and helped make the changes happen in order to manage the challenges we all face working the winter seasons on a mountain such as Mt Ruapehu.”Challenges include weather conditions that can close or delay the opening of the mountain, impacting both pay packets and staff morale. Living and working on a mountain in a remote region is another challenge so, to keep up staff morale, RAL implemented several activities over and above the norm that were either free or cheap for staff to partake in.“The winter season is intense. Many of our team on the Whakapapa side live and work on the mountain so they are quite isolated compared to those who live at Ohakune. Many don’t have ready access to transport, and as well as working together they live in close quarters to each other, eat with each other, drink with each other and generally live in each others’ pockets. Things have the potential to go downhill pretty rapidly.“To ensure our people had an opportunity to take a break we organised events such as shopping trips to the bigger towns, bus trips to big sports games such as the All Blacks in Hamilton. We’ve had BBQs, sports games including classic games of dodgeball and Tug of War.”“A large contingent of our seasonal staff are also from around the globe so we feel a responsibility to provide them with opportunities to explore and experience the local region to keep them motivated and excited about working in one of New Zealand’s best playgrounds,” says Ms McGechan. Ms McGechan says they’ve set themselves further targets for next season to keep improving on this year’s results. “We want to ensure RAL stays as one of New Zealand’s best places to work. We have a fantastic team of full time staff, and we are able to supplement them with great seasonal staff during the busy months, and we want to build on this.”The JRA Best Workplaces Survey is the largest employment engagement survey in New Zealand where employees rate their organisation from 60 questions across a range of measures. <a href=”https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/2031/IMG11046.jpg” alt=”last_img” /> read more