The big lesson New Zealand business has to learn.
I’m proud to call myself a Kiwi. Even though I wasn’t born here, I now call New Zealand home. I have 3 amazing children who are New Zealanders. So for this country to have a bright, exciting, world-leading future is close to my heart. There are many things that this nation does better than anywhere else in the world. But there are some areas where we have significant ground to make up if we are to achieve the successes and opportunities on a par with some European and US markets.
A big one is that the nature of the employer-employee relationship in business has shifted. Now the responsibility of CEOs and corporate leaders is first and foremost to elevate the experience and well-being of your employees. The traditional idea that a business exists primarily to make money for shareholders is gone. It is no longer fit for purpose.
There are two big reasons for this: first and foremost, studies now prove that if you focus on employee happiness, their productivity grows 20-47% and business revenue grows an average of 22%*. Plus your best staff stay and it becomes easier to attract the best new employees. That in itself is a major advantage when NZ’s top companies are competing ferociously for talent.
Second, the expectations of employees today have changed. Almost universally, our employees expect to be recognised and valued by their employers in palpable ways that go beyond a salary and a desk. But particularly among younger talent, there is a hunger for personal development that stretches beyond the job they do. They look to their employer to facilitate this.
This approach is publicly trumpeted by Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson and Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma. It’s what has driven the phenomenal success of companies like Zappos and IKEA. More and more start-ups especially in the tech sector build this into their DNA from day one and sustain it as a management imperative as their organisation grows from embryonic to large and established.
And when it’s proven that intentionally focusing on elevating the happiness and well-being of your employees leads to your company out-performing on every human and financial measure, why wouldn’t you?
One reason is that the majority of business leaders simply do not have the data tools, processes and basic psychological understanding to achieve what I call ‘deep understanding’ of their team. It’s all too easy and probably erroneous to assume that your people are happy because nobody looks or acts ‘unhappy’. But most think that seeming content is essential for job security. Yet NZ has an average employee disengagement rate of 60%*. In other words, 6 out 10 employees definitely are not happy at work!
This is the opportunity we have to address. At Tickled Pink, our mission is to help companies and organisations of all sizes understand the hard-working humans that entrust you with their careers and more. Working collaboratively with leaders, HR departments and alongside employees, we help you discover and embed ways that make you a high-performing business that everyone wants to work for, where employee engagement and loyalty is off the scale. Our vision is for New Zealand to become the nation with the world’s most holistically healthy workplace culture.
If you’d like to know more, whether you’re a business of 5 or 500, let’s talk now.