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Top 5 Strategies to Boost Employee Engagement in NZ in 2024

Mōrena HR champions!

Ready to turn the engagement dial up to eleven? Here at FizzPopBANG, we’ve got the inside scoop on what’s lighting up the employee engagement scene in New Zealand for 2024. So, grab your virtual whiteboard markers and let’s dive into the top five strategies that will transform your workplace into a hive of happy, productive bees.

In a time when New Zealand has faced technical recessions twice over the past 18 months, the economic landscape has become challenging to say the least. With the high cost of living, job insecurity, and many companies undergoing restructures, fostering employee engagement has never been more critical.

So, let’s explore some strategies and actions you can take in our kiwi context to build that engagement we are all craving:

1. Prioritise Professional Development

Why it matters: Employees want to grow. Providing opportunities for learning and development shows that you’re invested in their future. This is particularly important in a market with job insecurity.

Stats don’t lie: LinkedIn's 2023 Workplace Learning Report highlights that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development.

What can you do about it?

  • Training Programs: Offer FizzPopBANG bite-size behaviour sessions build skills that people, teams and leaders need to be brilliant and create an excellent vibrant high performing culture.

  • Mentorship Opportunities: Pair junior staff with experienced mentors to guide their career path. Organisations could learn from Māori culture and do more to emphasise the value in passing knowledge between generations.

  • Career Path Planning: Work with employees to map out their career trajectory within the company, setting clear goals and milestones. This can provide a sense of security and direction amidst economic uncertainty.

2. Cultivate a Culture of Recognition

Why it matters: Everyone loves a pat on the back. Recognising achievements, big or small, fosters a sense of belonging and motivation. In a country where companies are facing restructures, recognising stability and achievements is more crucial than ever.

Stats don’t lie: Research from Deloitte indicates that companies with recognition programs that are highly effective at improving employee engagement have 31% lower voluntary turnover.

What can you do about it?

  • Regular Kudos: Implement a peer recognition program where colleagues can publicly appreciate each other’s efforts. This can create a stronger sense of community and support in times of uncertainty.

  • Monthly Awards: Have a fun, informal award ceremony each month to highlight standout performances. Emphasise local heroes and stories to make it relatable.

  • Instant Gratitude: Equip managers with tools to provide real-time recognition, like sending e-cards or giving shout-outs during team meetings.

3. Embrace Flexible Work Arrangements

Why it matters: In the wake of the pandemic, flexible work is no longer just a perk—it’s a standard expectation. Employees crave the autonomy to balance their work and personal lives without sacrificing either, especially in a time when economic pressures are high.

Stats don’t lie: According to Gallup’s 2023 report, remote and hybrid workers show 41% higher engagement than on-site workers.

What can you do about it?

  • Hybrid Work Models: Create a balanced mix of in-office and remote workdays. Kiwis value their time at home, whether it’s enjoying the outdoors or spending time with whānau.

  • Flexible Hours: Allow employees to start and finish their workday at times that suit their lifestyle. This flexibility can ease the burden of commuting costs and help manage the high cost of living.

  • Remote Work Tools: Invest in top-notch collaboration tools like Slack, Asana, or Trello to keep your team connected, no matter where they are.

4. Foster a Diverse and Inclusive Environment

Why it matters: Diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords; they are crucial for creating a workplace where everyone feels valued and respected. In New Zealand, embracing cultural diversity and inclusion, including the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, is essential.

Stats don’t lie: A study by McKinsey found that companies with diverse executive teams are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability.

What can you do about it?

  • D&I Training: Conduct regular training sessions to educate employees about diversity and inclusion, with a focus on cultural competency in a New Zealand context.

  • Inclusive Policies: Review and update company policies to ensure they are inclusive and equitable. Ensure policies reflect Te Ao Māori values and practices.

  • Employee Resource Groups (ERGs): Support the formation of ERGs for different communities within your organisation, such as Māori, Pasifika and other cultural groups.

5. Enhance Well-being Programs

Why it matters: Happy, healthy employees are engaged employees. Investing in their well-being is a direct investment in productivity and morale. In the face of high cost of living and economic stress, well-being programs can be a lifeline.

Stats don’t lie: Gallup's 2023 report shows that employees who strongly agree that their employer cares about their overall well-being are 69% less likely to actively search for a new job.

What can you do about it?

  • Start with psychological safety: Ensure your leaders can foster a safe space for their teams…it all starts from a place of safety. FizzPopBANG has well-being series that can help you with this. 

  • Mental Health Days: Offer additional days off specifically for mental health. This acknowledges the mental strain caused by economic pressures.

  • Well-being Initiatives: Start wellness programs like yoga classes, mindfulness sessions, or step challenges. Partner with local wellness experts and organisations.

  • Support Services: Provide access to mental health support, such as counselling services or employee assistance programs. Ensure these services are culturally responsive and accessible to all employees.

To wrap this up in a neat bow, boosting employee engagement in 2024 is all about flexibility, recognition, development, inclusivity, and well-being. Taking a holistic approach shows your team you care about them as individuals, not just employees. If you can implement these strategies, you’ll not only enhance engagement but also foster a workplace where everyone is jumping out of bed and whistling on their way to work.

If you’d like us to sprinkle some FizzPopBANG magic into your engagement strategies, then send us a note at Your employees (and your bottom line) will thank you.

Happy engaging!

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