Business confidence is on the rise, many salaries have reached new heights, and the economy might be more resilient than anticipated – so this may be an excellent time to look for a new job.

The average salary in New Zealand rose by 8 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2023 according to Trade Me data, reaching $71,820. In addition, the Treasury forecast wage growth is 6.2 per cent this year.

But those thinking about making a move shouldn’t just “chase the money”, according to award-winning employer Worldline NZ. To find a truly satisfying job, most Kiwi workers need more than just cold, hard cash – and should also be searching for a role where the employer pays attention to staff wellbeing, creates a positive company culture, and has values that align with your own.

“Look beyond the salary and consider the whole package,” says Miranda de Nooijer, Chief People Officer at Worldline NZ, which recently won its third Top Employer award from the Top Employers Institute. “Is KiwiSaver paid on top of your salary or is it included? Do you get additional leave or money for a wellbeing initiative? How do employees engage and connect with each other? Ask questions that help you learn whether the role will give you the balance you want in life.” 

For job seekers in 2024, ideal roles would fit their lifestyles and values. That means asking plenty of questions – and not only from your potential employer. Current and former employees are a great source of information about the day-to-day culture at the workplace.

“A business can have all the right words, but what is the actual experience of the employees? Make sure you talk to other employees,” says de Nooijer. “Look on LinkedIn, find out who you know who is connected to them, and find out what kind of reputation the business has.”

Worldline has been a Top Employer for three years in a row, is certified as a Great Place to Work by the certification company of the same name, was a Small Workplace of the Year at the 2022 HeadFit Awards, and a finalist in the 2023 HRNZ Awards for its wellbeing programme.

Yet seeing former employees come back to Worldline again that might be the biggest endorsement of her team’s efforts to create a positive working experience, says de Nooijer: “Employees are our biggest advocates”.

Another of her tips: ask how the company is training its managers. “It is often said people leave their managers, not their organisation, so find out what [prospective employers] do about leadership development. Do they know about mental health awareness? Are they able to have quality conversations on difficult topics? It’s not enough for a manager to be a technical expert, they also need to know how to create a positive culture.”

Changing styles of work

During the pandemic, there was widespread re-evaluation of priorities – and that has permanently changed what people want out of their work, she adds. Benefits like flexibility used to be a bonus, but now they’re an expectation. Instead, businesses are going further to distinguish themselves from the competition in a marketplace where skilled employees still have plenty of choices.

For example, Worldline NZ moved its offices in 2022, from a more traditional large-scale space in the centre of the Auckland CBD to a custom fit-out close to the Viaduct. This reflected how the workplace is changing and allowed them to provide a building with more collaborative spaces, closer to public transport links and to retail and other amenities. Employees often work from home, and on the days when they’re in the office they can easily mix and mingle with the whole team.

“In New Zealand, you get the sense that you are fishing in the same small pool with the other employers, so it’s important to differentiate yourself and find ways to stand out,” de Nooijer says. “Even as an employer of choice, it’s still hard to find talent because we are very picky – the fit with our culture is really important.

“We do have great people and we want to keep them. So, we work to provide a sense of belonging, diversity, and physical and mental wellbeing. We know that jobseekers of all generations now have different expectations.”

Whether your expectations have changed, your priorities have shifted, or you just dread Mondays, this is a great time of year to consider whether your employer is still a good fit with your overall life goals.

“People are looking for a job that aligns with their purpose and values,” de Nooijer says. “So, if you are looking for a new job, take the time to ask plenty of questions so you get the right fit.”

Worldline’s various workplace initiatives include:

  • Flexible work that fits around workers’ lives.
  • Two days a week in the office to connect and collaborate.
  • Fortnightly ‘Good News Wednesday’ sessions to celebrate success and achievement and welcome new Worldline NZ staff.
  • Peer to peer reward and recognition programme
  • “Coffee roulette” where, once a month you are randomly selected to have an optional coffee date – in person or online – with someone else in the company, to chat and connect.
  • A comprehensive wellbeing programme focusing on physical and mental health with examples like fortnightly massages, fruit in the office and our signature ‘pick n mix’ wellbeing payment of $1000 for the full year that can go towards the employee’s choice of wellbeing expenditure - like insurance, gym membership, extra leave.
  • Paid birthday leave
  • Comprehensive onboarding and, within the first three months, the full executive team spend time with people on company strategy.
  • An inclusive culture programme with monthly sessions on cultural initiatives and cultural events like Diwali, Philippine Fiesta, Teuila Festival and lots more. This is led by the passionate People Experience Team who are more than a back office HR team and keen to provide employees a positive, productive and purposeful experience and implemented by Worldline NZ’s culture champs.