Employer of Choice Application


The Toowoomba Chamber created the Business Excellence Awards in the early ’90s. 

Hosted annually by the Toowoomba Chamber, they are designed to celebrate the efforts and achievements of this diverse and dedicated business community and recognise their contribution, not only to economic vitality but to creating the strong, healthy, vibrant regional community that is the Toowoomba Region.

Focus HR Business Excellence Awards Application | EMPLOYER OF CHOICE AWARD


This form is for the EMPLOYER OF CHOICE AWARD

Questions about your application? Contact the Chamber.

07 4638 0400 or 



The Focus HR Business Excellence Awards 2021 assessment process consists of 3 parts:

written application – 45% of the assessment;

judges’ site visit and presentation from the applicant – 45% of the assessment; and

30 second to 1-minute video of the business – 10% of the assessment.

The Judging Process

This year the judging process is a replica of 2020, with a shorter and simpler application form followed by an onsite visit from representatives from the judging panel. This process has been chosen to ensure the best business wins rather than best writer. The judges’ site visit will give applicants the opportunity to showcase their business. Please note if the business is not suitable for onsite visits then the judges will book in an interview instead – either face-to-face or over the phone.

Application Guidelines & Eligibility

All applications MUST be signed and authorised by a Senior Executive of the company or event applying.

All applications must be submitted online using this form  by Monday 19th July at 9am. Please note – there will be no extensions this year

Businesses entering the Employer of Choice Category will be required to complete the application SPECIFIC to that category.

Businesses may enter more than one Category. A separate application will be required per category that the applicant would like to apply for. Note: While applicants can enter more than one category, it is highly recommended that the applicants enter the category where they can demonstrate a competitive edge.

All applications MUST be submitted electronically ONLY, including the signed declaration. Without this signature the application will not be accepted. NO USB’s or hand delivered applications will be accepted.

All applications are judged by a selection of independent judges.

All applications are confidential, and all judges sign a deed of confidentiality and conflict of interest agreement.

The Employer of Choice Champion will not be eligible for the overall Focus HR Business of the Year 2021 Award.




1. Please select one of the below

2. Number of Employees

 (including owner / operator)

3. Describe the nature of your business including history, products, services and key activities

(maximum 600 words)

4. Outline your organisational structure or attach an organisational chart (names not required):

(maximum 300 words)

Satisfaction and Wellbeing

The organisation consciously focuses on employees' wellbeing and satisfaction.

To respond to this section, consider:

  • How does your organisation create a work environment that promotes the health and wellbeing, motivation and satisfaction of its employees?
  • What extra benefits or 'perks' do you provide to your employees?
  • What do you do to show your employees that you care about them?
  • Provide evidence through results of staff surveys (or similar) of staff satisfaction, commitment, and retention.
  • Provide evidence of financial investment (e.g. % of turnover spent on benefits/wellness and $ per head spend on benefits/wellness per annum or other relevant metrics)

Culture and Employee Engagement

Employees speak positively about the organisation, are motivated and feel connected.

To respond to this section, consider:

  • How would your people describe the organisational culture and working environment?
  • What initiatives do you use to ensure effective communication with and involvement from your people?
  • How does your organisation create a culture that is consistent with its Missions, Vision and Values.
  • How do you measure the level of employee engagement? Share statistics if you have any.
  • Describe how these initiatives have made a real impact on your organisation and resulted in tangible results for your organisation.

People Development

Employees are encouraged and supported to grow and progress.

To respond to this section, consider:

  • What are your organisation’s employee training and development, and growth initiatives?
  • What policies or practices (formal or informal) do you have in place for career progression?
  • Provide evidence of financial investment (e.g. % of your turnover spent on employee development and $ per head spend on employee development).
  • Describe how these initiatives improve productivity and commitment and support employees to achieve high performance and reach their full potential.

Performance, Recognition and Reward

Employees understand the organisation's goals, and the impact of their personal contribution is positively reinforced.

To respond to this section, consider:

  • How does your organisation’s employee performance reviews/appraisals support employees to achieve high performance?
  • What is your approach to providing feedback to your people - e.g. when, how, why?
  • How does your organisation approach performance improvement and what is the impact of this?
  • How does your organisation effectively remunerate, reward and recognise its employees’ efforts?

Committed Leadership and Strategy

Leaders connect employees with the organisation's vision and strategy in a meaningful way.

To respond to this section, consider:

  • Describe how your approach to people management is aligned with your organisation’s strategic objectives.
  • Describe how senior leaders demonstrate organisational culture, values, objectives and expectations through effective leadership behaviour.
  • What do you do to develop leaders in your organisation?
  • How do you get employees on board with the strategic direction of the organisation?
  • Describe how these practices maximise employee engagement and communication within your organisation.

Strong Employer Brand for Attraction

The organisation enjoys a strong supply of qualified and quality talent needed to achieve business goals.

To respond to this section, consider:

  • What techniques do you use to attract talent?
  • What techniques do you use to retain talent?
  • What do you do to actively promote your employee value proposition i.e. promoting why you are great to work for?
  • Describe how this has increased your ability to attract quality people in your field.

Employee Survey

A part of the process of being judged as an Employer of Choice is allowing a survey to be completed of your employees. Please attach a list of employee details including:

  • unique identifier (this may be employee number, initials, or full name); and
  • unique email address or mobile phone number where the survey can be sent to.

Please note: the survey is not compulsory, however will contribute to the overall scoring allocated by the judges in each of the above 6 sections.  Submissions without an employee survey will not be able to attain the highest overall grading in each of the sections.

The link to your employees will be submitted within 3 working days of your application being submitted to the Toowoomba Chamber. Please notify your staff of what the link is about so that it does not go to spam and they understand the purpose of the link and their involvement.

Employees will have 3 working days to complete the easy online survey.

Business Summary Video

30 Seconds - 1 Minute 

Applicants are afforded the opportunity to really sell their ‘business excellence’ by highlighting how their business displays and delivers excellence. (All or some of this video will be used at the Focus HR Business Excellence Awards 2021 awards evening if you are a winner).


Business Excellence Awards

  • Showcase the diversity and dedication of the Toowoomba Region’s business community 
  • Celebrate the efforts and achievements of local business
  • Promote best practices in strategic business planning and delivery
  • Recognise the contribution of local business, to our economic vitality
  •  And to creating a strong, healthy, vibrant regional community

Toowoomba Chamber Business Excellence Awards


We encourage all businesses to consider applying to increase profile and networking opportunities and to give yourself a chance to shine in your niche, build team spirit, strategically examine your business, and let your hair down on the business community’s night of nights, the awards ceremony.