Workplace motivators in NZ

According to an article in the NZ Herald reporting on a survey by, some 70pc of NZ workers are looking to change employer in 2011. This is while the economy remains depressed and youth unemployment is at its highest level since 1990! What would happen if the economy was up to speed – the whole damned workforce would turn over in a year.

Let’s look at some of the reasons people gave for their current level of dissatisfaction. There is nothing new here. The feedback mimics data from a variety of research projects into the question of workplace motivators in recent years.

22% are unhappy with their workplace environment and workplace moral. Wow, what is it that creates an unhappy workplace? Oh yes, I almost forgot. Managers that don’t give a rats. Unhappy and unsatisfactory managers create unhappy workplaces. Solution: Get rid of any manager who is unable to demonstrate how they went about developing the potential of others.

12% are unhappy with the level of professional development and training. There it is again. Managers not taking an interest in the development of people. Managers who have an eye on the short term and don’t give a rats about the long term sustainability of their organisation. Solution: Get rid of any manager unable to demonstrate how they will use professional development as a means for attracting and retaining their best people.

10% are unhappy with the manager they report to. My God, how stupid are NZ employers? Every day in the paper there is a report about Kiwi’s flocking (pun intended) to Oz – The Land of The Great White Hope, with a Chinese tinge – all the Kiwi’s need to do to ensure 10% of their workforce remain in NZ is send those managers to Oz instead. That is not as easy as it appears, the Aussies have very strict criteria for admitting people of ill-repute and poor morals. They don’t just let anyone in, ya know.

8% are unhappy with HR – whatever could that mean? Enough said, afterall were talking about HR! Solution: Best left unsaid as the Queen’s English isn’t sufficient, though Australian English would give a fairly good description.

Okay, a bit tongue in cheek. Someone will take offence but would they have talked to me anyway? Probably not. All cynacism aside, there are important considerations here. Leaving aside HR (the poor souls) – most concerns workers have with their current employment can be traced back to the ability and behaviours of managers. What does that suggest if we are to create workplaces where people want to work? Or maybe we just don’t care.


Let The Journey Continue

John Coxon



About John Coxon

Principal consultant for John Coxon & Associates, a management consultancy working with boards and management teams in healthcare, aged care and not for profit organisations to develop effective strategic planning processes and social enterprise business plans
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