When you have a choice of organisations you might join, are you attracted by status symbols like glimmering headquarters, pay bonuses and branded luxury vehicles, or do you prefer a culture that gels with your personal values?

Scott Erwin, Director People & Culture – Pacific at facility services provider ISS (www.au.issworld.com) chose the latter when he joined in September 2008. He says he was as much attracted by the firm’s winning customer-centric culture as its growth: 
“ISS performs because it’s so focused on looking after its people and customers – and with that comes the daily challenge for leaders of finding the right people.”

As a provider of facility services ranging from cleaning the MCG and keeping remote mining sites habitable, to screening passengers at airports, ISS manages thousands of workers around the clock. Many of them clock on just as the people they look after head home. So when they make an impression any acknowledgement may be in passing – but that doesn’t diminish it.

“I think our shift workers are incredible for working unsociable hours,” says Scott. “I’m in awe of the people who make it happen on the floor, and can keep a smile on their face while working hard and being attentive. I just attended our ‘Company Day’ where all corporate office staff work on site with our teams to understand their roles and customer service requirements, this gives a real understanding of their excellent efforts”

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Service with a human touch

One person who is very passionate about her work is Angela McElhenny, Supervisor – Health at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne. Angela, pictured above with ISS CEO Scott Davies, was recently recognised as ISS’s Ultimate Hero. She’s raised money for the Hospitals ‘Look Good, Feel Better’ program that gives personal items to women having cancer treatment and always goes out of her way to help guests feel comfortable. She’s also stepped up to train team members in ISS’s ‘Service with a Human Touch’ ethos.

“I love the working relationships I have with the team, clients and the patients,” she explains. “I learn something every day having these interactions, including a great understanding of different cultures and new ways we can all make a difference.”

Angela believes the essential ingredients of great service are honesty, integrity, punctuality and personality – all human qualities that match the values of ISS.

Success is about purpose

While financial reward helps make work worthwhile, success, says Scott, is really about living life with pride and purpose. A desire to do something that matters, not just for you but for other people, can make work more rewarding:
“Have a vision for work that you love; focus on doing the hard yards to improve your results; and continually sharpen the saw through education. Our world is complex, but if you can make it simple so people can understand it, they can buy into it – they can see the value.”

AustralianSuper represents its members

Scott’s view on AustralianSuper as the ‘legacy’ default fund for workers at ISS is that the industry fund has performed well.

“I’m very confident AustralianSuper has the best interests of its members at heart,” he states. “It’s a great choice for employees because every dollar they save on admin or profit margins goes back into members’ pockets. That’s really important when you’ve got thousands of hardworking Australians saving for their future.

“I think AustralianSuper understands how hard workers work for their money and they look after their funds with a high level of respect, honesty and professionalism.”

The views expressed in this article are those of the interviewee and not AustralianSuper. The interviewee made their comments based on their experience and expertise.