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NZ’s Most Inspiring Employers Announced!

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
Go Orange
Premier Group International
Coffee Supreme
Cardrona Alpine Resort
Milford Sound Lodge
Redvespa Consultants
Overland Footwear Group
Nandos New Zealand
Amplifon NZ

Employee Experience – Inspiration Awards
Redvespa Consultants
Sudima Hotels
Lightspeed Graphics
The Warehouse Group
Real Journeys

The Awards Categories are:

Organisation Size Categories
• Small Organisation (20 – 50 employees)
• Small-Medium Organisation (51 – 150 employees)
• Medium - Large Organisation (151+ employees)

Inspiration Awards
• EX Practitioner of the Year
• EX Initiative of the Year
• Diversity & Inclusion Initiative of the Year

Tickets for the event are available at
and close on 1 November.


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