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NZ Companies Struggling in Corporate Well Being

Media Release 27 February 2006

Most NZ Companies Struggling in the Area of Corporate Well Being, According to One of Nz’s Best Places to Work

Despite calls by Government for a greater focus on work-life balance, most organisations are still not doing enough to promote staff well being, according to this year’s winner of the Best Places to Work (large workplace category).

On the back of a fourth consecutive win in the Unlimited ‘Best Place to Work’ survey, Flight Centre human resources manager Sue Matson said the challenge was to make a high level of staff support the norm in New Zealand, rather than an award winning strategy.

“In New Zealand we are on a constant drive for productivity and getting more out of our people, and yet give them very little in the way of support to be able to cope with these ever increasing demands.”

Ms Matson said everything from creating basic work place philosophies to well structured incentive systems and recruiting to fit culture have had ongoing productivity and retention benefits at Flight Centre Limited.

“In this extremely tight labour market, the conditions are perfect for workers to demand a high level of support from their employer, and for businesses to gain a recruitment advantage through introducing and promoting their work life balance programmes. We are challenging more companies to take the initiative.”

Identifying the biggest stressors outside work as being money and health, Flight Centre Limited, which is made up of its ‘red and white’ Flight Centre stores and corporate travel provider FCm Travel Solutions, set up Moneywise and Healthwise to assist their staff in achieving their goals.

Matson said a big part of satisfaction, and therefore retention, was also letting people know, and reminding them on a regular basis, that they had a future with the company if they wanted it.

“We place a strong emphasis on developing our people’s abilities, fostering leadership skills and identifying future leaders,” Matson said.

“We also believe there are no limits to what our staff can achieve. As a result, our salaries are uncapped and we are always in search of new ways to further the personal and professional development of our staff.”

Flight Centre retail leader Jude Evans said despite having nearly 700 staff across more than 140 stores and businesses in New Zealand, Flight Centre’s focus on maintaining a team atmosphere and rewarding staff successes has long been an integral part of the company’s philosophies.

Regular social events such as monthly ‘buzz night’ staff celebrations, annual awards and ongoing incentive-based initiatives not only motivate staff but encourage a strong team atmosphere.

Globally, Flight Centre Limited has more than 5000 staff in more than 1000 stores and businesses across six countries, including New Zealand, Australia, UK, USA, Canada and South Africa.

ENDS

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