The Origins of a Trailblazing Employee Experience



With news that Aurecon has been named an ‘EX Trailblazer’ by the World Employee Experience Institute (WEEI), it seems timely to reflect on this Australian company and how it is making waves with its progressive approach to business. It has again been named a top employer in 2019 and is one of the most sought after places to work, according to LinkedIn.


Clearly, this engineering and infrastructure advisory firm is getting many things right, but what stands out about its approach serves as a hugely valuable lesson that can be applied in any organisation, in any sector, and in any part of the world.


Many companies face the age-old dilemma about positioning. Is it employees first, customers second, or customers first, employees second? Aurecon stands apart as a company that is successfully blending the experiences of customers and employees. Intentionally engineered, the foundation for this epic experience in work has been co-created with clients through clearly defined attributes that have been well integrated within the business. These attributes, or put another way, the key and fundamental things that clients wish to experience working with Aurecon’s employees, have been developed from the CX and integrated within the EX. Poetry in motion.


Not only do they give you a feel of what Aurecon’s clients expect, but they also demonstrate a deeper commitment to bringing together teams filled with people to get the best results. There is nothing more attractive than a company in full flow and there is harmony between CX and EX. The attributes don’t describe any one individual, but rather, the experience that clients get when working with an Aurecon team- and what’s great is the extent to which Aurecon’s clients have been involved in their creation, which directly ties them to business expectations and objectives.


They’re not some fluffy things stuck on the wall. They actually mean something to clients, and through the EX, employees too. These attributes also guide growth, learning, progress, HR policy and development. They matter. Now, how many organisations can say that? Oftentimes, companies get themselves into a cycle of trying to force the wrong types of people together and expect great things to magically happen. Not possible. It has to be engineered from the outset, and that’s what Aurecon does so well.


Case in point. Whilst the Aurecon attributes reflect the type of people the company brings together, its principles define how they can effectively work together. An example of how they work was brought to the fore in 2018. The company was the first in Australia to launch visual employment contracts. Liam Hayes, Chief People Officer, said at the time that Aurecon felt the visual contract was “a way to demonstrate to our staff and new hires the culture we are seeking to build, particularly around two of our Aurecon Principles: Make the complex simple and Be playful with serious intent. What better place to start meaningful engagement than when people are hired.”


Attributes, coupled with an equally strong set of principles, defines a way of being and a way of working. The important example being set here though is that intent is followed by visible and well executed action to improve the EX.


Simple stuff? Not so. Understanding the best attributes and principles for a business is only a first step. It’s how they are reflected and built into EX and CX that counts, and that’s what sets the best apart from the rest. A lot of organisations still don’t see the connection between employees and customers so won’t even consider intentionally designing around it.


Aurecon does, and as a result, it is re-engineering the future of work whilst others are still standing around talking about it.


The lesson? Well this can be summarised by another Aurecon principle: Believe it. Say it. Do it.




Ben Whitter is the Founder and Chief Experience Officer of the World Employee Experience Institute (WEEI) and is recognised as one of the World's leading figures within the field of employee experience.

From ambitious high-growth companies to leading multinational brands, Ben is an in-demand EX advisor, executive coach and keynote speaker helping companies to establish or elevate business performance through a positive employee experience.


Ben has delivered keynotes on EX in over 15 countries. His work has reached 16 million people to date and has been referenced by Forbes, Deloitte University Press, MIT Sloan, Hays Journal, and Thomson Reuters.


To work with Ben, please email: hello@worldeeinstitute.com

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Mr Employee Experience™ by World Employee Experience Institute| Ben Whitter © 2020

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