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What do Canva, Salesforce and a Queensland dentist have in common? Australia’s best places to work revealed

Matthew Elmas /

Canva

Canva co-founder Melanie Perkins. Source: Supplied.

Queensland-based Avenue Dental has won gold as the best place to work among companies with fewer than 100 employees, named alongside Canva, Salesforce and Stryker as an employer of choice.

More than 85,000 employees from 163 companies were surveyed for the 12th annual edition of the 50 Best Places to Work list, unveiled last night in Sydney.

Technology companies once again dominated top rankings for big business, with US-headquartered Salesforce taking the top spot among firms with more than 1,000 workers for the second straight year.

“Listening to our employees and earning their trust is one of the highest achievements we can attain as a business,” Salesforce’s Ulrik Nehammer said in a statement circulated Wednesday.

Last year’s number two finisher Atlassian dropped down the list to ninth, with 2018’s third-placed company, Cisco Systems Australia, moving up to the second spot.

Among small-to-medium enterprises (100 or fewer workers), Avenue Dental took the top gong for the third straight year, praised by workers for going above and beyond with a supportive culture.

“In business, people say culture beats strategy, but for us, culture is the strategy,” Avenue Dental co-owner Eli Burger tells SmartCompany.

While professional development opportunities can be few and far between in small-to-medium enterprises, Avenue Dental has prioritised up-skilling its team with leadership training plans.

“It’s about providing safe places for people to grow,” Burger says.

There remains a sizeable inequality in leadership among firms with fewer than 100 workers, with only 15% of the firms on the 2019 list led by a woman, while the average age is 47.

Businesses with fewer than 10 workers experienced an average 15.3% increase in employee numbers, with 45 workers for every one HR professional.

Following Avenue Dental among SME employers are IT services company Insertra and professional services business Amicus, ranked third and fourth respectively.

Among companies with 100-999 workers, there is no shortage of Aussie companies, with local unicorn Canva ranking second behind US-headquartered healthcare company Strkyer.

Online marketplace Envato ranked seventh, moving up from 14th last year, despite criticism from former employees about its historical policies for mothers returning to work.

The 50 best places to work in Australia

More than 1,000 employees

1. Salesforce
2. Cisco Systems Australia
3. Hilton
4. Mecca Brands
5. Mars Australia
6. REA Group
7. SAP Australia
8. Service NSW
9. Atlassian
10. Campbell Arnott’s

Between 100-999 employees

1. Stryker
2. Canva
3. Intuit Australia
4. OMD Australia
5. AbbVie
6. Adobe
7. Envato
8. Optiver
9. Nous Group
10. Richard Crookes Constructions

Fewer than 100 employees

1. Avenue Dental
2. LogMeIn Australia
3. Insentra
4. Amicus
5. Cobild
6. SC Johnson & Son
7. VERSA
8. Atlis Consulting
9. Beaumont People
10. Morgan McKinley
11. BigCommerce
12. Lundbeck Australia
13. Rackspace
14. i2C Architects
15. Hub Australia
16. Bluefin Resources
17. The Works
18. Sentrian
19. Macquarie Cloud Services
20. Smokeball

NOW READ: Getting on best places to work lists: Four moves your business can make to be an employer of choice

From Atlassian and Canva to Salesforce, here are the 50 best places to work in Australia

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Matthew Elmas

Matthew is the news editor at SmartCompany. You can contact him at [email protected].