Workplaces with the wow factor

Last updated 08:00 19/06/2014

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Complaining about your job may practically be a national pastime, but at three Wellington workplaces, whingeing around the watercooler may be rather less common.

In a recent survey by HR consulting firm Randstad, staff named IBM, the Royal New Zealand Navy and the Department of Conservation (DOC) as the places they would most like to work in Wellington, based on attributes they said were important for an employer to have.

DOC, which has cut 109 jobs in its biggest restructure since its inception, was perceived as having the most pleasant working atmosphere.

It was also perceived as offering the best work-life balance and most interesting job content.

The navy was rated best for job security, and multinational IT giant IBM offered the most competitive salaries and perks.

Though we can't all grow up to be noble maritime defenders, or deep-pocketed technocrats, there are steps we can take to make our own workplaces more bearable.

Business facilitator Marie Richards-Hodge offers some ideas for being happier at work:

Bring the fun. It's important to get to know your workmates in different contexts.

Don't wait for your boss to organise something - take the initiative and arrange a bake-off or pizza lunch.

Start a daily quiz leaderboard or lunchtime walking group.

Train for a running event with colleagues and enter as a team.

Round up the troops for weekly, shared morning teas and Friday night drinks.

Plan the occasional event that includes partners and even children - this is the perfect time of year to celebrate a midwinter Christmas.

Have a potluck dinner and bond over mulled wine.

Help clock up your recommended 10,000 steps a day and make it the norm to talk to colleagues face to face, especially if it's a criticism or reprimand.

If you're not in the same building, at least pick up the phone.

And it's never too late to start acknowledging and greeting your colleagues, even if you have shamelessly ignored them in the lift for the past three years. Have a personal policy to be the first to say "hi".

Request feedback. Feeling as though you're thriving is key to job satisfaction.

Be proactive and ask your boss how you're going - take encouragement from positive comments and view areas that need improvement as opportunities to develop and learn. If you're given the chance to offer feedback of your own, don't be afraid to speak up.

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- The Dominion Post

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