The team at Auror were super excited to hear that they had won the Best Employee Experience for the Small Organisation Category at Humankind’s Employee Experience Awards. They had put together a very deliberate people and culture strategy and so to be recognised and invited up onto the stage was “awesome” and showed that their strategy was paying off.
They were thrilled to be recognised in amongst New Zealand’s leading employee experience organisations, obtaining the extra validation that what they had been working on had contributed positively to their employee experience. Co-founder and Co-CEO at Auror, Phil Thomson, said that the awards were across a broad spectrum of industries and so it was great to be able to compare themselves against a range of different companies.
“We had a fantastic experience with the EX Awards programme. The real value was when we got the interviews and survey results. They sparked good internal conversations and so we were able to adapt some areas of the company accordingly,” said Thomson.
“A big part of why we entered was to get a good understanding of what else we could be doing to improve our EX, alongside what we’ve already been contributing towards. Our strategy has been around listening to our team and getting a feel for what they like,” said Kirsti Grant, People and Culture Advisor.
One example of feedback was the challenge of their current office space, now that the team has grown significantly, which can get a little crowded, however they’ve made investments in some areas to assist with this, which can be taken to a new office space in the future.”
As Auror continues to grow, with a new office in Melbourne now too, the challenge is around how they scale their existing EX model. They have identified that if the strategy around values and EX is done well, it ultimately becomes about the people. As a smaller organisation, they make incremental changes along their growth journey, for example with recruitment eighteen months ago they had challenges around diversity. By creating buy in from the team, they then ran job advertisements through Textio to get analysis on how their language was affecting candidates that were applying, spending more time sourcing talent – including at senior levels, which has a flow on effect for the team. For interviews, they made sure that there was a really diverse panel also. This then raised awareness of their on-boarding experience as a priority for them.
“Creating a great first impression and a good structure for new team members, especially in the first three to four days, has a massive impact on them. It’s about getting the basics, the smaller things right,” said Grant.
“It’s making sure they know what time they should be in the office, when their first pay day is, where they should park, and when they do arrive, making sure that they really feel that we have acknowledged them joining the team – from having the hardware ready, to a calendar full of events to help them get to know the business and the people.”
As Auror continues to scale, they try to get better and more deliberate around the on-boarding process each time. The team has grown significantly in recent times, and so the focus now is on the development of their team members – how they grow their people and provide them with opportunities to further develop.
“The scaling of a company comes to down to the people – we talk about values fit and culture add. We’ve got a really good set of guiding principles, which the team adhere to and operate with really well, however we want to be careful that we do not create a homogenous group of people. We want people that will add to our culture. We understand that throughout each office there will be a difference in culture, but they will all have the same guiding principles, enabling them to work really well together,” said Thomson.
Grant says that employer brand is an important focus – as the team continues to grow, they want to make it easier to recruit, however as their EX continues to strive, so do the team and their customers and the impact they have on their communities.
“The impact we have on our community by having an award-winning team, that has incredible employee experience, translates into the interactions we have with our community of retailers and police. It has a nice flow on effect. By being focussed on building great EX and translating the impacts of this on our team shows how we can support our customers better. It helps in our overall vision of empowering a community of crime fighters.”
The benefits of being a part of EX18 was the tangible results Auror received, for example, the report highlighted what the team really likes at Auror and areas they can improve. The report was able to be used as a tool to collaborate effectively with the team, using the insights as an opportunity to spark further conversations and feedback on how Auror can improve moving forwards.
“Everyone in the team is mission-driven. Our users are part of the journey we go on, so when we win awards like this, they feel like they’ve played their part both internally and externally,” said Thomson.
Crime is a serious topic, but Auror has been clever about how they make this fun for all involved by introducing a superhero theme to make it an enjoyable experience to work at Auror and bring recognition to their users and community that work with them every day. Making it about superheroes, gives them an interesting and engaging topic to link in with and talk about their values and principles – helping them come to life.
Another tool they have used is 15Five, which helps facilitate more effective one-on-ones between a manager and their team. Part of this allows you to give a team member a digital high five.
“We’ve been on a journey with the digital high fives! As the team are so supportive and love celebrating success, there were many high fives being given on a weekly basis and so to help make these more meaningful and considered, as the team has grown, we have asked our team to give just three high fives a week – getting people thinking about why they’re giving their high fives – which are really valued,” said Grant.
Thomson added “the regular weekly check-ins allow you to identify problems before they become an issue. Writing your feedback down and then having the one-on-ones as follow ups really helps the team to feel valued and listened to.”
Auror is excited about the future and is a great example of how you can overcome employee experience challenges within the workplace. Using the EX Awards as a base to gain feedback and insights into how their employee experience stacks up is a great way to create conversations that matter in amongst employees. Using carefully selected tools and a collaborative approach has enabled them to come up with solutions and areas to improve within, based on the teams’ feedback.
“What made the process successful, was the collaboration with the team. Having someone from Humankind come in to observe the team and how they collaborate was really insightful, which we gained valuable learnings from,” said Grant.
Thomson added “if you’re thinking of entering the EX Awards in 2019, we’d highly recommend it because of the value you get out of it. The awards evening itself was a great opportunity to meet with other like-minded organisations on the night. We’ve already organised a meeting with one of the other winners to share and collaborate on our EX ideas. If organisations are serious about EX, we need to look into sharing ideas and strategies, to create better workplaces throughout the country.”
As part of our ongoing commitment to providing the best Employee Experiences, helping organisations to help their people love what they do, we will be sharing all six of our winner’s stories from the Humankind Employee Experience Awards 2018! Watch this space…
Humankind February 12th, 2019
Lightspeed Graphics’ Operations Director, Steve Martin, said they were ‘over the moon’ when they first heard their name announced as winners of the EX Initiative of the Year at the Humankind Employee Experience Awards, EX18, in November. Because they are a relatively young company (they’re just about to celebrate their 2nd birthday), and they are in a highly competitive industry, winning an award like this means an awful lot.
“It tells us that some of the things we are doing are on the right track. It’s great for our employees to be a part of that and for us it’s a great story that we can share moving forwards,” said Steve.
Lightspeed Graphics’ mission is to change how people visualise products in the future. They’re closing the gap between the virtual and the real world by designing cloud-based visualisation platforms, for example in e-commerce, the buyer will have more control over how they view their products, enabling them to make better buying decisions.
Next year, Lightspeed Graphics plan to have a lot of recruitment activity going on, due to their growth, which they intend to leverage this award to their advantage as an added bonus to employer brand.
Taking out this category meant that their Shanghai-based CEO, who is also the financial backer for the organisation, was re-assured that the practices they’re putting in place, here in New Zealand, are getting recognition on a national scale.
Steve became a part of the team very early on in the business and feels privileged to have been able to apply his experiences and utilise these to put together something really positive for the employees.
He said “in a highly competitive industry, organisations need to do something unique to stand out as an employer. Lightspeed Graphics has always had a learning and development culture, which has been a big attraction to our organisation.”
A big focus has been on employee wellness and closing the gap between work and home life and being able to integrate this more seamlessly for employees. Looking into how to remunerate and retain employees, Lightspeed Graphics wanted to put together a benefits package that would stand out. Rather than just coming up with a standardised package that they think people want, they took it one step further and heard directly from their employees what was important to them. By looking at the uniqueness of their team and the emerging culture they have, they were keen to understand what’s important in their teams’ lives and their working lives. From this, three key themes came through that were important; learning and development, health and well-being, and to make contributions – giving back to the industry as well as giving back to the team.
They came up with a flexible menu of ideas to suit their employees’ lifestyles. Supporting them with gym memberships, medical insurance, paying off student loans, Kiwisaver – to help prepare for the future, and public transport contribution – giving back to the community by encouraging employees to use public transport.
Steve said, “the flexible options were well received by the team as it gives them a sense of empowerment around choosing their benefit. They also have standard parts of the package too, including a fortnightly shoulder, neck and back massage!”
In the developer world, which is a predominantly male environment (although improving as they now have 5 women in the team!), young males are renowned for not looking after their health. Lightspeed Graphics offer a full medical or optical examination annually. He said as a company, they care about their employees and want to encourage them to look after themselves and their health to get the best out of their life. They also supply fruit and snacks to help encourage their employees to eat healthily.
They have a fortnightly technical training session, where they do a ‘show and tell’ – enabling the sharing of knowledge between the team and helping them to better understand each other’s roles. This also encourages positive reinforcement from the team. They have introduced flexible hours for start and finish times and are now looking at working from home options.
“It’s important to us to understand the team’s personal development goals,” said Steve. “Our organisation has a great reputation for up-skilling and developing our employees. We’re keen to invest in them continuing to learn and develop.”
A programme of tailored individual training has been introduced, which Lightspeed Graphics will fund. They are encouraging employees to set aside two hours a week for this.
Steve said that winning the award will help increase their employer brand. They’ve taken advantage of the Employee Experience Awards Winner branding package showcasing their achievements on their website and email signatures.
“The benefit of entering the awards is that it’s like a disciplined review – it enables you to pause and reflect on the programme with your team on how it’s all working. It is so easy to get side-tracked with delivery, so entering the awards helped us to refocus on the importance of employee experience,” said Steve.
“I would thoroughly recommend the awards. It’s a good opportunity to reflect on what you’re doing and gain feedback and insights on some of the initiatives you are doing with your company. You can learn about what other companies are doing. This particular set of awards stands out against others, as it is particularly focussing on employee experience, and this is such a positive trend in employment. It’s well positioned and focussing on something that’s positive for your employees as well.”
He said the first event was a tremendous success. It was well attended and very well run.
“It had a nice feel to it – it was not overly glitzy, but enough – a nice balance. I really enjoyed it – it was laid back, yet personal, but still with a sense of occasion.”
Steve said that the awards are unique. The format allowed people to come together and mingle. You never know what a first awards is going to be like, but I was pleasantly surprised! It was fantastic! It will definitely grow in popularity due to the culture of the awards.
“Overall, it’s a positive awards. Well done to Humankind and Joyous for taking the initiative and focus the industry on an important area. It’s very much inline with current trends in employment – very timely. The ongoing benefits for our company is that as the awards grow in stature, as an award winner, the stocks grow more and more.”
As part of our ongoing commitment to providing the best Employee Experiences, helping organisations to help their people love what they do, we will be sharing all six of our winner’s stories from the Humankind Employee Experience Awards 2018! Watch this space…
Humankind January 15th, 2019
At Humankind, we want to help you to create the best employee experiences, and in doing so you cannot underestimate the importance of getting the basics right, including ensuring your employment agreements, policies and practices are up to date with legislation changes.
The Government has recently passed two bills which come into force next year. The changes are mostly focussed on enhancing employee and union rights.
As a result, in 2019 you will need to review your employment agreements, policies and practices to ensure they reflect these changes.
The Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Act 2018
The Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Bill was passed and the changes will come into effect on 1 April 2019. The new law entitles employees affected by domestic violence to up to 10 days of paid domestic violence leave per year in order to deal with the effects of domestic violence. Employees will be able to take this leave as needed – similar to the existing sick leave and bereavement leave provisions.
The Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018
The Government finally passed the Employment Relations Amendment Bill on 6 December 2018. The Bill largely repeals the National Party’s amendments to the Employment Relations Act 2000 (ERA) over its nine years in Government and restored a number of employee and union rights. Some changes will come into effect the day after Royal Assent on 12 December 2018 and the rest come into effect on 6 May 2019.
What do the changes mean for employers?
From 12 December 2018:
From 1 April 2019:
From 6 May 2019:
We would be delighted to help you ensure your employee experience foundations are strong and up to date. Contact us today here
Humankind December 14th, 2018
Throughout the 2018 Employee Experience Awards programme, EX18, we heard many stories and saw initiatives which are making a huge difference for New Zealand employees. We wanted to share our insights, to help all New Zealand organisations improve the reality and experience at work for their employees.
What is Employee Experience?
Employee Experience is the sum of perceptions employees have across their interactions with leadership, operations, environment and tools.
These insights follow EX18, New Zealand’s very first Employee Experience Awards programme.
Eight EX Insights:
A key trait of a good leader is one who is consistent in how they talk to their manager, their peers and their staff. If you have a Leadership team who are incredibly hard on each other, but then turn it on for staff, or the opposite – who appear matey to each other, but quite hard and cold towards staff, they won’t be genuine and authentic and you risk creating double standards where there is one rule for leaders and another for staff. Leaders need to hold each other accountable to the values of the organisation and be consistent across all the levels in how they adhere to those.
How an employer chooses to react to a difficult moment in life can make all the difference. For one EX18 organisation, finding out an employee had Multiple Sclerosis was an opportunity to go above and beyond in showing their support. Knowing that he loved the Warriors, the employee and his wife were flown up to Auckland, kitted out in all the fan gear and taken to a corporate box to watch the game. At the end, he was presented with the match ball. The organisation promised that no matter what, there would always be a role for him. When the time came for the employee to decide it was time for him to stop work, he asked to stay on the Social Club. He remains a member of that group today. It’s one of several examples we heard where employers show genuine kindness to their people.
We saw some great examples where employers are co-designing policies with their employees. Gone are the days where a CEO or HR Manager should sit in a room by themselves writing policies with their compliance hat on and imposing them on employees. Policies are a great opportunity to involve the team, and form the foundation for decisions, driving much of the employee experience. One recent example was an employer grappling with the decision to ban alcohol from their work places and work events, after the behaviour of a few employees caused concern. This was a key opportunity to pause and involve employees in the discussion about what is appropriate. For that example, taking a wellbeing approach rather than a compliance one proved to be more effective.
On-boarding is not just about introducing a new employee to the organisation, the tech and their new role. Its primary purpose is to build connections. Survey results show the impact employers can have if they take the time to get to know their people on a personal level. Time should also be built in for employees to meet their colleagues and get to know them also. The best and closest of connections are not made across a meeting table. We believe in formal coffee catch-ups and walking meetings, so the employee gets to know their new working neighbourhood – these work brilliantly. Don’t forget to organise a team lunch or drink on the first day too!
Most office-based employees generally reveal that most of their work is individual work. The biggest frustration around the physical space is the teams’ ability to concentrate, which might be due to layout, but most commonly office protocols and manners are also missing. Most offices have never had the conversation about expectations – instead office behaviours and etiquettes evolve over time. Have a conversation about how your team want to work together and alone, helping everyone find common ground on things like interruptions, noise levels, and where to collaborate. Next, is providing people with technology and seating options to allow them to work from different locations – in the office or from home – it puts the power in their hands.
Unknowingly many organisations have offered different roles very different work surroundings, immediately giving the message about how the role is valued in the organisation. We see IT teams with small, crowded offices with no natural light, and sales teams with large corner offices. While it is understandable to require teams to work together, it is important to consider the experience of your people and the message their environment sends about how much their role or function is valued. The result can be a ‘them’ and ‘us’ culture. It is important we give different groups of employees the same level of consideration when it comes to their physical space.
So many of our organisations are using tools such as Slack or Yammer to communicate, share information and build culture. Like many aspects of the employee experience our use of these tools often evolves and before we know it there are 25 different ‘channels’ where information is shared. Creating a communication strategy to support the use of these tools, determining what information goes where, and most importantly giving your teams a guideline for what information is a must-read and digest vs. optional, will improve employee experience. Discussing what is appropriate to post to everyone vs. what should be in a more focused message can ensure these tools do not become a distraction for our teams. A guideline document co-created by leadership and team members will ensure your collaborative communication tools continue to add value – not stress and overwhelm to your employees.
Technology programmes looking at improving point of sale or other key business processes can often be expensive exercises. Yes, the systems will save time and provide more accurate information capture, but also consider the employee and customer experience created by modern technology. Most terrible customer experiences are created by a terrible employee experience i.e. the employee doesn’t have the right information available or there are cumbersome legacy systems slowing the service down. During our observation and interviews a highlight was one organisation using technology with their customers, entering important personal information into a great user interface, saving on admin time afterwards, creating a great employee and customer experience! Modern technology and tools for employees are often seen, noticed and appreciated by customers just as quickly!
We’d love to hear your thoughts on your own valuable employee experiences. Please feel free to comment below and let us know what it is that you value the most.
If you’d like to find out more about the Employee Experience Awards, check out www.exawards.nz
Humankind November 12th, 2018
Ever wondered what makes an organisation special? It’s those who care. Those who care about their employees and the experiences they are having at work. EX18, New Zealand’s first ever Employee Experience Awards, has just announced the finalists who are leading the way in delivering exceptional employee experiences to their people!
With added pressure from both home and work life on many employees these days, as well as employment opportunities galore, many workers are switching jobs more and more regularly, which can have a large impact on an organisation. Finding ways to attract and retain top talent is becoming more challenging for an employer, so Humankind, in partnership with Joyous, have launched the EX18 Employee Experience Awards to help showcase and celebrate organisations creating the best employee experiences in New Zealand. Ultimately, the more an organisation makes an effort to care about its employees, the more engaged they will become, resulting in great customer experiences and better business results!
Launched in June 2018, Humankind received registrations from organisations across New Zealand, seeking to better understand what their people think, and vying to be named as the organisation with the best employee experience.
Humankind and EX18 founder, Samantha Gadd, says the programme was developed to help organisations gain a better understanding of how their employees really feel, giving them a deep insight into what they’re doing well and areas to improve upon. She says that organisations must realise that engagement surveys are not enough to measure how employees are feeling these days. To get a true sense of how an organisation’s employee experience is stacking up against expectations, surveys must be combined with individual interviews to hear real stories and be measured against employee experience criteria.
“Ultimately, success comes from within. Our Employee Experience Framework, which includes areas such as leadership, operations, environment and tools, enables us to provide organisations with an opportunity to understand the reality of working in their respective organisations, that is how people really feel” said Gadd.
The awards, which have been separated into two categories; Organisation Size Awards and Inspiration Awards, have seen some outstanding entries.
Samantha says, “we have been truly inspired by the stories we have heard about Kiwis helping Kiwis and can’t wait to share some of our key EX18 insights into what makes a great Employee Experience on the night.”
The judging panel for the Inspiration Awards consists of many business and industry experts bringing brilliant perspectives and experience to these awards. There is Michael Carden, a successful tech entrepreneur and Founder of Joyous, also EX18 tech partner, Laurie Ruettimann, a USA based global writer, speaker and HR leader, and Founder of ‘Lets Fix Work’ podcast, Sandy Burgham who is passionate about powerful leadership, strategy and brand and Founder of Play Contemporary Leadership Colab, Lance Walker, CEO of WREDA , the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency and well known for his great culture work at Cigna, and EX18’s very own Samantha Gadd, founder of Humankind, Kin, EX18 and Employee Experience Enthusiast!
Humankind will be holding an awards evening, in partnership with Joyous, on Thursday 8 November at Generator, 11 Britomart Place, Auckland celebrating their 2018 finalists and announcing their overall Organisation Size Categories and Inspiration Award winners, including sharing some of their valuable insights they have learned throughout these awards!
The EX18 Award finalists, which are made up from all around the country include:
Employee Experience – Organisation Size Awards
Cardrona Alpine Resort
Milford Sound Lodge
Nandos New Zealand
Overland Footwear Group
Premier Group International
The Awards Categories are:
Organisation Size Categories
Tickets for the event are available via www.exawards.nz until 1 November.
Humankind October 31st, 2018
The following post was written by our Senior Client Partner, Leighton Abbot on LinkedIn regarding the future of improving Employee Experience.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Employee Experience recently. As a new member of the Humankind team, I have recently enjoyed a great on-boarding process, and have felt very welcome. When I have had questions, I’ve asked them; when I have had feedback, I’ve given it. Not surprisingly, simply talking about ‘how we do things around here’ has been the best way to get informed and make quick progress.
This experience has made me think about the relevance of the veteran campaigner of the feedback world, one I have invested a lot of time and energy in – the humble employee engagement survey. While they’re a great way to get standardised feedback about predefined topics, surveys are prone to huge variety in interpretation, manipulation, and delay. We ask people to respond about a topic that is important to us, but often don’t allow for clarification or personal expression. Those running surveys are inclined to quickly dismiss peoples’ concerns that a survey is a waste of time, and then proceed to take months to analyse and report on data – and may not even get to the point of discussing the feedback or making any changes.
The traditional employee survey model is broken, and completely mainstream. So many of us have become accustomed to reporting engagement and other survey metrics in executive, board and annual reports, it can be hard to see how we can step away. However, if your survey isn’t actually driving change, I would suggest the cost of retaining this broken model is higher.
With the demise of the IBM Kenexa Best Workplaces Survey, hundreds of New Zealand organisations have been given the opportunity to hit pause and reflect on how they measure their employee experience. While I am proud of the impact that the Best Workplaces programme had in many organisations, the fact remained that a greater number found meaningful improvement in engagement elusive. For me, it comes down to whether survey results actually galvanise people into action.
In my own experience, insight and change is more likely to come from conversations. They take more time and are more personal, but they create narratives that inspire. They get to the heart of the matter, instead of brushing over a topic and then promising to come back to it later. Eyes light up when people tell stories about their experiences; eyes can often glaze over when experiences are distilled into numbers.
I’m convinced that the future of improving the employee experience is through more conversations, not more structured survey data. This is particularly the case in small organisations, which dominate the New Zealand landscape. Now is a great time to assess how well surveys are working for your organisation, and look beyond the digital survey walls to see what else is out there.
If you’re interested in the idea of pairing a light survey with interviews to better understand employee experience in your organisation, check out Humankind’s EX18 Awards. Take a gap year from your survey – visit www.exawards.nz.
Humankind July 17th, 2018
I love what I do, but it has an expiry date…
A common question I get, “that’s cool you play Cricket… but what are you going to do for a job after you finish”, Oh… mmm??
How am I going to try and find work just as fulfilling and enjoyable for the next 30+ years?
At 27, most of my friends are well on their way to establishing career paths that will set them up for the next 30-40 years. If you were to see my CV, there is a gaping hole under the work experience section.
I have been fortunate enough to be a Professional Cricketer from the age of 19 – currently playing for Wellington Firebirds and the Netherlands National team – but what if it all ended tomorrow?! My ambition to transition successfully out of Cricket, into my next career just started to get exciting.
How do Professional Athletes get quality work experience before they reach the end of their career? I think we have many transferrable skills that can add value to all sorts of work environments, including the ability to perform under pressure, a dedicated work ethic, results driven and likely a reputable profile. But who is going to hire someone that can’t match the same commitment as other permanent employees? For chunks of the year they can’t physically be in the office or client facing. This might seem like a bad investment for an organisation?
An employer who is willing to invest time and money into training and manage workloads when we are absent, in order to be supportive of sporting aspirations must be truly flexible. High trust work environments with this level of flexibility are rare in my experience.
Over the last couple of years, I have become interested in high performance teams, what makes one team more successful than others, and then in turn, business and team culture. I have been trying to work out a way to use my experiences of being a Professional Cricketer to build a career in this space.
My goal for the winter was to find experience that was productive to my career after cricket.
When the season finished my days consisted of updating my CV, searching LinkedIn, coffee meetings, interviews and telling my story to anyone I felt might be influential. Through this effort an opportunity was created to meet Samantha Gadd.
After a really enjoyable meeting with Sam, I was immediately anxious around why an employer would invest in someone with an unpredictable future.
But Humankind has an eye on the future of work and are on a mission to help people love what they do and do what they love. ‘Flexibility’ of where, how, and when you get the work done is managed through one of their values – Trust. I have been lucky enough to be offered a full-time role as a Junior Client Partner until September and going part time over the summer.
Flexible working is more common for working parents, enabling parents to be present for their children… but for me I need flexibility to remain fully committed to my professional cricketing career and goal to play for the Blackcaps.
I have already experienced true trust and flexibility – on my second day I needed to attend a funeral after a Cricket teammate’s father sadly passed away. I wanted to support him, but I was nervous that Humankind might think that I was taking the opportunity they gave me for granted. I was away for a couple of hours and when I got back to the office, what I found was that my new team cared more about how I was feeling, rather than how much time I had taken off. Straight away, I knew I was in a great environment.
Throughout my professional sports career I have acquired valuable knowledge and experiences of high performing and dysfunctional teams. I hope to use this experience to contribute and invest in what we do at Humankind.
I am very grateful to be a part of the Humankind team and the opportunity to learn, grow and gain experience and look forward to using the skills I learn here, out on the cricket pitch too!
Humankind May 21st, 2018
Jenny Williams is one of our Client Directors and wrote a very insightful piece into the benefits of flexible working…
Yesterday I worked from home, and as I sat on my couch in the sun, I reflected on what flexible working actually means to me.
Mercer’s 2018 Global Talent Trends Report notes that 51% of employees want their employer to offer more flexible work options. Traditionally employers have thought of flexible working as a way of allowing full time employees to work reduced hours for a variety of reasons. For me, I enjoy working full time, but need flexibility to meet the demands of my family life. This has never been more true than yesterday.
You see, yesterday was not just an opportunity for me to work outside of the office. The cross country was on at my boys’ school and my eldest son, Sam, had decided he wanted to participate. What makes this a bit out of the ordinary is that Sam has a heart condition that can be triggered when he runs. We’ve always been keen for him to be involved in sports and not let his heart condition impact on his ability to participate in all forms of school activities, but as a mum, it can be a stressful time!!
So yesterday, I felt working from home meant that I could be closer to him if something went wrong – being 10 minutes away, as opposed to 30-40 minutes depending on traffic, makes a huge difference. This gave him, the school, and me all peace of mind and more confidence in him giving the cross country a go.
But it wasn’t just the work location that made the day a success.
The first, and most important, is that I work in an environment where I can be vulnerable and share my worries and concerns with my team and receive overwhelming support in return. I can bring my whole self to work, and being a mum of a child with a heart condition is a big part of that.
I was also able to control what work I did and, what really mattered, was that I was able to control the time at which I did it during the course of the day. The cross country started at 11am, and I knew that if Sam’s heart played up, the rest of the day could be impacted with a potential trip to the hospital.
In preparing for the day, I was able to arrange my schedule so I had client and team meetings in the morning, prior to 11am, and then save the afternoon for work that could be deferred, if necessary, and for reading and sending emails.
I have been in the unfortunate situation recently of having to defer a meeting due to Sam’s condition, and to be honest it’s a pain. Everyone is always incredibly understanding but the reality is other people are impacted, timelines need to change, and you feel like you are letting yourself and your team down. Being able to structure my day to minimise the likelihood of that happening is important to me. It is empowering to be able to figure out what would work best, and still feel like I was winning the day.
It goes without saying, having the tools and technology to enable flexible working are a must. More than just a laptop and a phone, I am lucky to have access to Slack to keep in touch with team and the happenings in the office throughout the day, and Zoom, for easy to use video conferencing so that team and client meetings can still be face to face. These two tools have made a huge difference in the feeling of connection I have despite being physically absent for the day.
Finally, working for an amazing company where there is high trust and the whole team is empowered to work in whichever way best suits them, means we are able figure out what works for us and for the team. Don’t get me wrong – this doesn’t mean we all work from home any chance we get. We also recognise the importance of being physically present and the value you add and receive and the connections you create in the everyday conversations. Flexible working arrangements must strike a balance between what works for the employer and what works for the employee and their specific role.
So for me, flexibility gives me the best of both worlds – I can be there for my family when they need me, and I can still work full time, doing a job a love.
As an aside, Sam was great – he ran the whole cross country without pulling out and his heart was fine, and I was able to finish the rest of my working day from home, in the sunshine.
Humankind is passionate about helping people love what they do and do what they love. We can support you to put in place flexible working arrangements that are right for your organisation and help create an amazing employee experience.
Humankind May 10th, 2018
We have all seen through the recent media attention the impact that incidents of bullying and harassment can have on your workplace. The consequences are far reaching, affecting not only the individuals involved, but your employment brand and business overall.
Whilst it is easy to think that incidents, bullying or harassment are isolated to one or, at most, a few “bad eggs”, it could in fact be a symptom of a much bigger problem in your workplace.
Our vision here at Humankind is to help create better work places and so here is our handy toolkit on how to create a great employee experience, supported by strong leadership, environment, tools and operations so behaviour like bullying and harassment is less likely to occur in your workplace.
Humankind May 4th, 2018
Do your people love what they do and do what they love? Are you keen to showcase and celebrate what an awesome workplace you are? If so, read on!
We’re super excited here at Humankind to officially announce that we will be launching New Zealand’s first ever Employee Experience Awards in 2018 in partnership with Joyous. The EX18 Awards, which celebrate organisations throughout New Zealand who are leading the way delivering exceptional experiences to their people and therefore known as the best employers in the country, will be launching 3rd June, with the overall winners announced 8th November.
Founder of Humankind, Samantha Gadd, is passionate about helping build the best employee experiences in the world and helping people to love what they do. That passion has replicated throughout her six year old growing business and its employees and the 450+ businesses they are working with, having won multiple business growth and professional services awards, including being recognised in the Deloitte Fast50 in 2015.
“In April 2018 IBM announced the end of the Best Workplaces programme. After 18 years of celebrating the Best Workplaces in New Zealand there is no other targeted awards event, celebrating great employers and workplaces. EX18 is the inaugural event in which we have the vision to grow into a highly sought after and successful national event. Our vision for the future of this event is to host a black tie dinner for 500 people – attracting the most ambitious and visionary organisations, sponsors and PR opportunities,” said Gadd.
“Measuring engagement of employees on an annual basis has been proven ineffective. Instead focusing energy on building employee experiences and seeking continuous feedback from employees is what the most successful organisations in the world are doing. Well designed EX drives productivity and leads to great customer experiences, and therefore accelerates business growth. In short EX = CX [Customer Experience] as Richard Branson says, look after your people and they will look after your customers.”
“Where traditional HR has focused on the employee lifecycle, we see an enormous opportunity for leaders to ensure every interaction is deliberately designed, we want to recognise those employers and what better way to celebrate them, than to recognise them through an award at EX18!”
Gadd believes that the best workplaces in the world have the best employee experiences in the world. In addition to this, successful organisations understand that employee experience drives customer experience and therefore better commercial outcomes. For these reasons, Humankind is excited to share their views on what employee experience is, and more importantly what businesses can focus on to improve their employee experience and achieve business success.
Mike Carden is delighted to partner with Humankind on launching the EX18 Awards and sees this as a natural fit for Joyous. A recognised tech entrepreneur, in 2006 Mike founded Sonar6, a revolutionary Human Resources Software as a Service business. In 2012 Sonar6 was acquired by Cornerstone OnDemand (NASDAQ: CSOD). Sonar6 won numerous awards including PWC Hi Tech Emerging Company, Deloitte Fast 50, and Gartner Cool Vendor. Mike is also a winner of the Writemark Plain English Award and the Bayer Innovators Award. More recently Mike founded Joyous, the first dedicated Employee Experience platform in the world, who are excited to take part.
“Partnering with Humankind and launching the EX18 Awards is a super exciting opportunity for us to celebrate the growing recognition and importance of employee experience within business. Using our pulse survey questions, crafted by experts, will give businesses a fantastic opportunity to not only gain feedback from their employees, but also give them the opportunity to open conversations with their employees on how they are really doing.”
He said that the awards not only enable fantastic recognition nationally for businesses throughout NZ who provide amazing employee experiences, but also a great opportunity to review and reflect on their current processes and attract top talent to their workplace.
The award categories are designed to celebrate the best employee experiences in New Zealand – supporting employee value proposition, helping businesses to attract top talent in the future. They celebrate forward thinking professionals who recognise the value of EX within their organisation, superb EX Initiatives made up of great ideas, and the organisations and people behind them. The judges will be looking for individuals and businesses that are able to inspire organisations throughout New Zealand.
Visit www.exawards.nz to register your interest and find out more!
Humankind May 4th, 2018