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NZ Business to Focus on Keeping Staff

News Release

2008: New Zealand Business to Focus on Keeping Staff, Avoiding Commoditisation and Balancing Privacy with Security

Three trends that will keep New Zealand business leaders awake:
- Staff turnover to cost 1.5 times the annual salary of the worker
- Need to rediscover personal customer relationships to drive loyalty
- No longer need to choose between security and privacy – have both

IT services company Unisys sees three issues to underlie business decisions in 2008. All are linked by the need to develop a deeper understanding of the underlying needs of core business relationships: with staff, customers and the wider community.

Nurturing good talent
At a time when the skills shortage is squeezing the New Zealand economy, 2008 risks being the year of the revolving door if employers continue to focus on simply attracting new staff, rather than developing and retaining current employees. Resulting staff turnover is expected to cost New Zealand businesses over the coming 12 months. Unisys analysis shows the cost of replacing a worker is around 1.5 times that person’s annual salary. This is exacerbated in a tight labour market where each new hire drives up wage levels for the same job role without a corresponding increase in productivity. Harder to quantify is the loss of intellectual property and the valuable relationships that go with good staff when they leave.

“Instead of offering potential staff one-off rewards when they join, New Zealand businesses need robust talent management programmes which will nurture staff, provide the right long-term rewards and show workers a real career path,” said Ms Terry Shubkin, NZ Manager – Account and Service Delivery Management, Unisys New Zealand.

A customer-centric approach to business

On the customer side, continued efforts to reduce costs and increase productivity by streamlining and automating processes have produced initial savings benefits for many organisations, but often at the expense of a strong and valued relationship with the customer, commoditising many service offerings and eroding customer loyalty. Even if customers are still happy with the service they receive, they no longer feel loyal to one provider, making it easier for the competition to tempt them away. To protect and grow market share there will be a shift by service providers to re-establish personal relationships with customers in order to overcome the low customer loyalty which is characteristic of commoditisation.

For example, a Unisys study of New Zealand banking customers1 found that while 72 percent of customers said they were satisfied with their banks, only 21 percent said they felt loyal. Customers want to be rewarded for the size and length of their business with 84 percent saying they would consider moving to a provider which offers a loyalty programme and rewards them for the length and breadth of their business. Eighty-nine percent of customers want a customised and unique banking experience – regardless of the channel or touch point with the bank.

No need to choose between privacy and security

Increased consumer fear of identity fraud and a focus on national security will drive innovations in identity authentication amid debate between personal privacy concerns and the community’s need to be protected from threats. In 2008 the debate will shift from having to choose either privacy or security, to how to best collect, distribute and share information by public and private organisations in the interests of security.

Over half of New Zealanders are extremely or very concerned about unauthorised access to or misuse of their personal information and other people obtaining their credit and or debit card details. Personal and financial security rank as the top two security concerns of Kiwis2. As accurate identity verification is the central security issue that impacts privacy of information, Unisys predicts identity authentication will be at the core of security developments in 2008.

1Customer Centricity in the New Zealand Retail Banking market: Rewards and Sacrifices (2007)
2Unisys Security Index: New Zealand – August 2007 (


About Unisys Asia Pacific

Unisys offers clients solutions for secure business operations by aligning technology with business strategy. Drawing on a history of industry innovation and expertise, Unisys provides specialised services, delivered by trusted consultants. In Asia Pacific, Unisys delivers services and solutions through subsidiaries in New Zealand, Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand and through distributors or resellers in other countries in the region. For more information, visit

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