Grosvenor named Australia's top employer in professional services

04 June 2024 3 min. read
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Boutique management consultancy Grosvenor has been deemed the country’s best professional services workplace thanks to an internal program which supports the development of expertise.

Headquartered in Canberra with further outlets in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, Grosvenor has a headcount of around 40 professionals specialised in public sector, procurement, and property advisory.

Feedback from those employees has now helped Grosvenor secure the number one spot in the professional services category of this year’s AFR BOSS Best Places to Work list, as judged by behavioural science consultancy Inventium.

Grosvenor named Australia's top employer in professional services

While the consulting firm has also been a certified Great Place to Work for the past three years running, it was a new initiative introduced in 2022 which caught the attention of the AFR judges. Dubbed the Visible Expert Development Pathway, the program sees the consultancy team up with interested employees to work towards them gaining recognition as experts in a particular field.

The first step is defining the employee’s objectives and mutually charting a course, with regular progress reviews and the backing of the executive leadership and Grosvenor’s various operational teams. Mechanisms can include support from marketing in publishing and promoting subject matter expertise and a focus on public speaking and conference attendance.

According to the firm’s internal survey data, employee motivation and engagement levels have risen since the introduction of the initiative, including an 18-point bump to 84 percent of those who believe the firm provides ‘special and unique benefits’. Meanwhile, 94 percent of staff expressed a belief that they were involved in decisions which affected their jobs, up by over 20 points.

Speaking with the AFR, Grosvenor associate director Charitee Davies, who works in the areas of capability, development and performance, said the scheme was in part developed in response to the growing pull of freelance work arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We saw that it was going to get pretty tough for small or mid-tier consulting firms to compete as an employer of choice,” Davies stated. “How can we offer the benefits and the bits that people like about contracting work, but still offer them job security and connectedness as a team? That’s how the visible expert pathway was brought to life.”

Values-based consulting

Other factors for its popularity include the firm’s status as fully employee-owned and its values-based approach to recruitment, both of which help to create a healthy and productive environment. As a pretty good indication of workplace sentiment beyond internal surveys, Davies herself is one of a number of so-called ‘boomerangs’ at the firm; those who left for a period and have since returned.

First-time recruits are also effusive on the subject of Grosvenor’s culture. Taking to LinkedIn in celebration of the firm's top workplace ranking, Su-Ann Drew, a PhD-holder in reproductive biology who joined the firm as a program evaluation specialist at the start of the year via KPMG and WA Health, said it's not just about fluffy words that look good on a poster.

“The people here continue to amaze and inspire me with their unwavering commitment to a values-first approach that prioritises people first, including staff, clients and community. Every day I see these values embedded throughout the company's DNA, at every level of seniority, every policy, and every decision big or small.”