Take care of your people, and they’ll take care of your profit

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Earlier this month, FedEx Express New Zealand was accredited as a Best Employer in the 2013 Aon Hewitt’s Best Employers (Australia-New Zealand) for the sixth time.* Kim Garner, managing director of FedEx Express Australasia, credited the recognition to his staff. “As a result of our commitment to our people, they go above and beyond for our valued customers, who in turn reward FedEx with their business and loyalty,” Garner added.

For Garner, it is FedEx’s “People-Service-Profit” philosophy that is at the core of the business and its success. “Simply put, it means that if we take care of our people, they will take care of our customers and hence take care of our profit,” Garner explained to HRM Online.

One of the fundamental elements of this philosophy is the provision of training and, in particular, developing talent with the company to prepare internal candidates for leadership positions. For example, it is a policy at FedEx to look internally for talent first. “The FedEx ‘Promotion from within Policy’ ensures our most talented employees have the support and an avenue to move up the career ladder and we are proud to say that 100% of the New Zealand management team is promoted from within,” Garner said.

Key to FedEx’s leadership development is the GOLD programme – Growth, Opportunity, Leadership, and Development, which prepares employees for potential succession into management, Garner said. Part of the GOLD programme involves exploiting the experience and expertise of senior management by having them mentor frontline and professional employees who express the desire to move into management.

“We also have a strong rewards and recognition programme that celebrates the achievements of our people and their commitment to delivering on the values of the company,” Garner added. The programme involves five separate schemes that award employees for everything from excellent customer service to being good citizens.

“The long tenure of our team members and excellent industry reputation are both strong indicators that our culture is an integral part of our success,” Garner said.

*The Aon Hewitt Best Employers is a process of accreditation that consists of three stages including, an employee opinion survey, a people practice inventory, and an organisational audit. This year, 125 companies were involved and 19 of these received the accreditation.

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