Mobile reseller wins human resources prize

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A mobile phone reseller has won a blue ribbon for its human resources management at a national Australian awards ceremony.

A mobile phone reseller has won a blue ribbon for its human resources management at a national Australian awards ceremony.

Maxine Horne, chief operating officer of Queensland-based mobile phone retailer Fone Zone, has been awarded Best HR Champion at the Australian HR Awards 2004, along with skincare firm Johnson & Johnson's Robert Scherini.

The Australian HR Awards were run by THC Press, publisher of HR Magazine, and sponsored by Aon Consulting. The Australian HR Awards aim to recognise excellence in HR across all verticals, rewarding best practice strategies and initiatives for managing people.

Horne said Fone Zone considered its team and its customers its most important assets. The company placed a "high priority" on staff training and morale.

"We promote retail as a long term career, not just a stepping stone, which is why we strive to provide a holistic program of personal and professional development," she said.

Team dedication was key to Fone Zone's success, Horne added.

"I am thrilled to have received this award, which is recognition that Fone Zone is achieving its goal of being a national employer of choice," Horne said.

Fone Zone claims to have a flat management structure.  In nine years, the company has grown to 106 stores across Australia, with more than 600 staff.

The company's HR has two key philosophies -- CARE (Customers Are Really Everything) and TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More).

"The principle behind CARE is to develop staff to their full potential and for staff to provide high quality service where we not only meet our customers' expectations but exceed them," Horne said.

Fone Zone recently launched a staff benefits program, called myTEAM, aimed at enhancing Fone Zone's existing staff development and incentive programs. 

The myTEAM Program includes child care subsidies of up to 50 percent, baby bonuses of $1000, up to one week of additional paid leave for getting married, annual long-service bonuses of up to $5000, free influenza vaccinations, a day off to allow team members to work for their favourite charity and free financial planning seminars.

It also includes luxury overseas trips for the company's top salespeople and support team members.

Horne said "family values" were important to the company.

Fone Zone has won more than 20 national and state awards in the last three years. It was founded in 1994 by co-owners, David McMahon and Maxine Horne. It is aligned with the Telstra MobileNet network and was Telstra's National Dealer of the Year in 2002.


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