Stuff NZ’s “All of Us” programme aims to inspire, retain high-performing employees

By Annamarie Jamieson

Stuff LTD

Auckland, North Island, New Zealand

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Stuff NZ’s All of Us is an integrated programme of people-focused initiatives to nurture a high-performing and purpose-driven workforce that is fit for the times and fit for everyone. All of Us recognises the rise of Millennials in our workforce but also that every generation and subset of workers has particular expectations and a contribution to make in the modern way of working.

The All of Us initiative was created to provide a workplace that could accommodate everyone, regardless of physical or intellectual challenges.
The All of Us initiative was created to provide a workplace that could accommodate everyone, regardless of physical or intellectual challenges.

The objectives of All of Us were clear, quantifiable, and ambitious. The impact of Millennials in the workforce has been much researched and documented, and we knew that to attract and retain this generation we would need to employ new thinking coupled with direct action.  

However, we know creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is about more than just nurturing the talents of any one generation. Indeed, employees across all age groups believe we can do better at involving them. The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer found 73% of prospective employees wanted to help shape the future of society and to be included in business planning.

Eliminating gaps in the workplace

Stuff is eradicating the gaps in its workforce and giving employees a bigger voice. With more than 850 staff working from 25 offices up and down New Zealand, Stuff has had to be truly innovative to create a workforce for the future.

At one level, policy drives our goals. We expect managers to enforce this. But, more importantly, we have encouraged direct action from the grassroots up. We want a workplace where the mix of gender, ethnicity, beliefs, abilities, experience, and age will bring us new perspectives from which we can learn, connect, and grow. 

We set five objectives for the All of Us programme:

  1. Identify and deliver activities that would empower and retain our talent base.
  2. Better align our gender and age representation to that of the national workforce, based on Statistics New Zealand data.
  3. Reward our talent base by providing professional opportunities.
  4. Introduce initiatives that would promote our workplaces as flexible and innovative environments.
  5. Involve our talent base in solution finding, strategic planning, and activity-based leadership. 

The All of Us project included the following initiatives:

  1. Advancing our diversity and inclusion strategy.
  2. Fostering flexibility in the workforce.
  3. Ensuring fairness and equity for all staff.
  4. Promoting employees wellbeing.
  5. Putting purpose at the centre for employees and our business.
  6. Transforming into the sustainable business we hold up as a model.
Stuff NZ created a six-prong approach to policy changes.
Stuff NZ created a six-prong approach to policy changes.

All of Us has created a quantifiably more diverse, dynamic, and responsive workforce for Stuff.  

A new way of working

In 2019, we introduced Activity-Based Working as part of the All of Us initiative. It allows people to choose where they work, depending on the activity. We created flexible working hours for staff and enabled working from home to provide staff with work-life balance.

We supported lower-paid employees by paying them a living wage and closed the gender pay gap by 36% in 18 months. We increased the median pay rate for women by 19% over the same period and ensured promotional opportunities were available to everyone, including those on parental leave.

We built trust with our workforce, introducing quarterly surveys, and prioritised wellbeing by offering yoga classes, counseling, and the ability for staff to pursue passion projects. We walked the talk on diversity, expanding our Creative Spirit programme by employing eight young people with disabilities, an initiative that has inspired another 40 New Zealand businesses to follow suit. 

In 2020, we are building on this work, but early signs show that All of Us has succeeded as a benchmarked programme to engineer a diverse and inclusive workforce that can be retained and nurtured over time for ongoing prosperity and growth, positioning Stuff as an employer of choice for those looking to shine.

About Annamarie Jamieson

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