Western Australia’s premier business and leadership excellence awards, the AIM WA Pinnacle Awards, recognise the outstanding organisations across the corporate, government, community and not-for-profit sectors in Australia that have a significant footprint in WA.
Each year, organisations are commended for their commitment to customer service, environmental sustainability, marketing, workplace wellbeing, corporate social responsibility, human resource management and Asian engagement and innovation, with gongs for Emerging Business Excellence and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Excellence also awarded.
Winners of an AIM WA Pinnacle Award each receive a $20,000 training prize to gift to a charity of their choice, giving a tremendous skills boost for the people working in organisations critical to the community.
Let’s take a look at some of 2021's incredible award winners.
Noongar Chamber of Commerce Emerging Business Excellence Award 2021
Breaking through in late 2020 with the mammoth task of operating the 10c container deposit scheme, WA Return Recycle Renew Limited (WARRRL) launched the Containers for Change program across WA with incredible success.
Reaching their major targets and allowing community and individual enterprises to flourish while helping the environment, WARRRL oversees the collection of containers across 250 refund points and has created significant job opportunities, many of which have offered long-term unemployed people, people with disability and Indigenous people employment for the first time.
Containers for Change Chief Executive Officer Tim Cusack said it was an honour to win the award, putting WARRRL’s success down to the great support from the WA public.
“The fantastic people of WA have embraced Containers for Change incredibly well – from one end of the state to the other – and without the support of the community we could not have achieved what we have so far with, of course, a lot more to go,” he said.
“It's off to a fantastic start and we're very proud of what the scheme has become and is becoming, and the potential of this scheme to improve people's lives in lots of different ways.
“The team that I am lucky to lead is incredibly committed and passionate, and I see the award as a tremendous recognition of their work and the work of the WARRRL board.”
Mr Cusack said the biggest achievement of the scheme so far was reaching statutory obligations of delivering 229 refund points by September 30, 2021, with WARRRL delivering a total of 250 and providing plenty of charity and employment possibilities.
“So far there are 4500 community groups, charities and schools across the state that participate in competitive change by their member number,” he said.
“That just tells us of the extent to which the community has generally embraced the scheme.
“Half the scheme operators and half of the refund points are operated by the not-for-profit sector and it's a very diverse group involved.”
Looking ahead, Mr Cusack said the new goal was to reach 85 per cent of containers sold into the market returned to Containers for Change by July 2023, through growing community collectors and changing customer behaviours around recycling.
“There is still a cohort of people who are not yet participating in the scheme, so our messaging around that is, ‘if you don't want the 10c for yourself, then there's someone in your realm that does, whether it's a grandchild, sports club or school charity you're passionate about’.”
“That's important because, today, there's $60 million of refunds available not claimed.
“That's an enormous amount of money for the community.”
WARRRL chose Good Sammy and the Ability Centre as its nominated recipients of the $20,000 training prize.
Mr Cusack said it was important to give back to these organisations who supported Containers for Change.
“We are really proud to have nominated Good Sammy and the Ability Centre to receive $10,000 between them, each have access to courses run by AIM WA to the employees."
“So we think that's a fantastic contribution to those two organisations and we're very proud that we're able to support them in that way.”
Edge Employment Solutions Human Resource Management Excellence Award 2021
Servicing more than 15 million passengers annually and with over 800 employees, Transdev WA placed significant focus on their human resources strategies to support their business in an increasingly tough labour market.
In the first six months of 2021, Transdev WA recruited 90 new hires and saw a 300 per cent increase in heavy diesel mechanic applications.
Former Transdev WA People and Culture Manager Brendan Duroiselle said the recognition by winning the AIM WA Pinnacle Award’s Edge Employment Solutions Human Resource Management Excellence gong was the icing on the cake of a successful year.
“To receive recognition at the prestigious Pinnacle Awards through AIM WA was amazing, and cemented the value and effectiveness of the human resources strategies implemented into our business,” he said.
“The hard work was completed by each and every individual within our business and the end results for our business was the reward.”
Mr Duroiselle said safety and customer service was at the forefront for Transdev WA, driven by the managing director and senior leadership team.
“Our drive for customer service is evident with a dedicated customer experience manager, and each and every new individual joining our business is trained on how we focus on the customer within our culture and how to deliver the best customer service possible,” he said.
“Of course, this effective service delivery needs to be safe.
“We have multiple areas of our business that are subject to natural safety risks, including delivery of people/customers in heavy vehicles and high risk work being conducted in each workshop.”
Transdev WA placed significant emphasis on leadership to drive high engagement with all of its staff through the company app.
It analysed data to help in creating and suggesting strategies to improve engagement, which saw participation over two years rise from 30 per cent to 91 per cent.
“Our managing director and senior leadership team places a huge emphasis on leadership and what fell out of this was strategies that ensured high engagement,” Mr Duroiselle said.
“We made sure we regularly communicated with our employees who were predominately out on the road via our bespoke company app, ensuring connection to the business and its direction.”
“We allow comments and feedback from each individual in this app and ensure every individual is heard and is followed up."
“Sometimes it is the little things like listening, providing feedback and closing the loop that ensures employees feel engaged and valued.”
On the back of industrial action in 2018 and 2019 creating unstable times for the business, Mr Durosielle said it was important to overcome this with new leadership and renewed focus on their workforce.
“From an industrial standpoint we utilised the Fair Work Commission’s interest-based bargaining model to reach an outcome with an innovative enterprise agreement, where we remain a positive case study for the Fair Work Commission today.”
“This, combined with relentless leadership to focus on our people, led to the outstanding business we see today.”
Sharing his advice to other businesses who are looking to internally overcome tough periods and strikes, Mr Durosielle said leadership was key for positive employee engagement to filter down.
“Make leadership a priority and ensure the chief executive officer or managing director and the entire senior leadership team and executive team believes that engagement is real and needs to improve,” he said.
“Our biggest piece of advice is to ensure that senior leaders and frontline leaders within the business buy in to improving engagement levels.
“This cannot be a human resources or people and culture-focused project without the belief of the most senior leaders and middle managers within the business.
“Recognise you have a problem and commit to providing the leadership to improve. The strategies bespoke to your workforce that will improve engagement will come.”
With Transperth supporting Radio Lollipop and Uniform Free Day since 1995, Transdev WA nominated it for the $20,000 training prize.
“Radio Lollipop believes in the healing power of play and provides smiles and laughter to children in hospital – a time when they need it most,” Mr Durosielle said.
“We have an annual uniform free day that Transdev WA supports for this cause, and the radio broadcasting service operates live each night from the Perth Children's Hospital studio and is programmed around the requests of the children, who are encouraged to participate in activities, competitions and lots of games.”