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The Humankind Workplace Awards finalists are announced, with wellbeing a well-defined priority

The EX Awards look at what it is like to work in an organisation across four areas: purpose, relationship, enabling, and performance experiences.

All employees of organisations who entered were invited to respond to a 30-question survey across the four criteria, and then hour-long interviews were conducted with a random selection of employees. The companies who entered also received a customised written report highlighting their EX strengths and opportunities.

There are 11 New Zealand companies who’ve been crowned finalists in the EX awards for 2019.

This includes Xero, Overland Footwear, and Sharesies, StarNow, Lysaght Consultants, Trineo, ZX Security, Smudge Apps, IT Partners, Real Steel, and Cake Commercial Services.

Finalists for the Employee Experience Initiative of the Year Award are Spark, Balance Agri-Nutrients, Xero and Worksafe.

Finalists for the Employee Experience Designer of the Year Award are Brooke Roberts from Sharesies, Kirsti Grant from Auror and Ryan Ghisi from Xero.

Associate director of employee experience at Humankind Leighton Abbot says many of the companies featured had employees who felt like they worked for an organisation with a clear purpose.

“Some of the most enthusiastic people we spoke to told us about how they felt that the work they did each day was worthwhile and made a difference,” Abbot says.

“They might be helping customers directly on the shop floor, or be part of team of people who design apps, or providing an essential service that others might know little about – but they knew that what they do is important.

“A number of our finalists have made some great commitments to be a force for good in their industries and for New Zealand, which makes working for them more rewarding.”

As well as this, another clear theme among the companies named as finalists was a spotlight being shone on wellbeing. Initiatives to support mental and physical health were prominent among the organisations and went beyond just creating some noise around countrywide initiatives.

“Going well beyond ‘Mental Health Awareness Week,’ some of our finalists train team members and managers in mental health first aid, openly discuss topics like depression and domestic violence, and constantly talk about the importance of everyone looking out for each other,” Abbot says.

Some of these initiatives included group fitness or meditation, onsite gyms, and offering time during the working day to devote to fitness.

As well as this, managers in the companies named as finalists were found to be having regular and meaningful conversations with their teams about their career progression and overall happiness at work.

“The commitment in these organisations for managers to really know how people are doing and what makes them tick leads to people feeling better supported at work, and able to achieve their goals,” Abbot says.

“Our finalists do a great job at bringing their teams together to keep everyone informed, to celebrate successes, and to enjoy each other’s company. They recognise that work is a big part of life.”

Keeping up with technology implementation that helps people manage their jobs better has also played a part in the companies that were named as finalists.

“We used to hear much more about tech being expensive, unstable, slow, and just frustrating – but for many of our workplace awards finalists, their tech was described as great,” Abbot says.

And finally, the environment people work in also was a focal point. Abbot says the finalists understand how a person’s working environment – like an office, shop floor or factory – affects their experience, so effort is placed in designing workplaces that people are comfortable and happy in.

“We have seen these efforts range from quite expensive to much more cost-conscious, with the results being that people look forward to spending time at work.”

The winners of the EX awards will be announced on 14 November in Wellington at the Humankind Employee Experience Awards evening. You can find tickets here.

Employee Experience Initiative of the Year finalists

Balance Agri-Nutrients

Employee Experience Designer of the Year finalists

Brooke Roberts, Sharesies
Kirsti Grant, Auror?
Ryan Ghisi, Xero

Workplace Awards finalists

Cake Commercial Services
IT Partners
Lysaght Consultants
Overland Footwear Group
Real Steel
Smudge Apps
ZX Security

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