A positive culture at Competenz

In 2020, our approach to organisational culture was one of putting people first, supporting them to be their best, and then trusting them to get results. The impact of COVID-19 and RoVE was considered in almost every decision relating to our company culture and leadership roles.

Working from home

As a result of COVID-19, Competenz staff worked from home in Alert Levels 4 and 3, while access to the office was limited in Alert Level 2. The uncertainty through these times resulted in our leaders making a huge effort to put staff wellbeing first as they successfully adapted to leading a remote team.

Our approach focused on the quality of work produced, rather than the hours each staff member worked. Productivity and quality levels were generally high, with some people even commenting that they were more productive when working from home.

As a result, we adopted a flexible working policy, allowing staff to continue to work remotely even when lockdown restrictions were eased, while still promoting a team connection and acknowledging the Competenz offices remain the primary place of work. This policy was well-received by both staff and leaders.

Developing our people

Development of our people was another key focus, and 73 per cent of staff chose to get involved in various professional development programmes. There was a considerable emphasis placed on identifying skill gaps and addressing these through various learning methods to suit different individuals.

This approach expanded the options available for development to include:
  • Self-paced learning through LinkedIn Learning
  • Formal qualifications
  • Attending face-to-face courses
  • Mentoring from subject matter experts within the business.


We also rolled out our Manaakitia programme, created to support our people in managing their wellbeing while guiding them through a structured thinking process for future career decisions. All Competenz staff members received a ‘My Action Plan’ journal which was divided into sections with practical focus exercises covering:

  • My wellbeing
  • My development
  • My career decisions
  • Leadership (for those with direct reports).

We ran optional workshops to provide a more in-depth understanding of the journal exercises. The Manaakitia programme led to our ‘GoodYarn’ workshops which were also rolled out across Competenz. These classes taught participants how to talk about mental health and respond to a mental health crisis.

Positive feedback

The people-focused nature of the culture at Competenz resulted in a large increase in engagement scores in the half-yearly ‘Cz Voice’ survey. The ‘people score’, which is comparable to a traditional engagement score, rose from 66 per cent in October 2019 to 73 per cent in June 2020, and it remained at 73 per cent for the November 2020 survey.

This positive feedback demonstrated the support our people felt, both in looking after their wellbeing and in their development - they felt trusted and empowered to succeed.