AUCKLAND, Wednesday: A showdown between three major NZ telcos took centre stage at the Retail Employer of the Year Awards in the Britomart earlier this week.
Spark, One NZ and 2degrees were finalists in the Large category (over 500 employees), and with the telcos also up against Mitre 10 and Chemist Warehouse, it was Spark that came out on top.
The awards are voted on by the public, retail workers, and employees, and Spark won for its focus on team culture, staff benefits, and its induction process.
The awards provide a pulse check on the retail sector, which, similar to many industries, has been hugely challenging in recent years.
“Spark’s culture was a massive driving force, with their employees feeling supported and valued.”
Feedback from voters signals more optimism in the sector; there were a record number of votes.
The annual awards, run by career advice and recruitment specialists Retailworld Resourcing, recognise retail businesses that advocate strong employer brands and champion career pathways for employees in the sector.
“The most common themes amongst voters were the importance of team culture and having future career prospects,” says Retailworld’s Auckland-based agency director Danielle McFadyen.
“Spark’s culture was a massive driving force for them taking the win, with their employees feeling supported and valued. They really look after their people with staff benefits, well-being initiatives, and an induction and training process setting new employees up for success.”
“The winners: A&C Homestore, Partridge Jewellers, Gilmours , DFS NZ, Overland Footwear, Taking Shape.”
Other winners were plus-size fashion label Taking Shape in the Small Business category (fewer than 100 employees) who went up against A&C Homestore and Partridge Jewellers.
Wholesale FMCG company Gilmours won the Medium category (101-500 employees) which was hotly contested by DFS NZ and Overland Footwear Group.
McFadyen said: “This year saw a 112% increase on last year in the number of votes which reflects the increased positivity in the retail sector after a turbulent period across the industry.
“There is a vitality and energy back and that shows in the number of votes as well as the sentiment provided by voters.
“Strong team culture across the board is definitely key.”
The Spark people
Spark was represented by people partner James Tafua and domain chapter lead Sandro Ribeiro.
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