Survey seeks employer role in staff development

Venkat Raman

New Zealand may have a worldwide reputation as a Do-it-Yourself nation but lags in encouraging innovation and growth in its workforce.

Employers who support the concept and provide career development resources and ongoing performance coaching are more likely to retain their talent.

Many employees in small and medium companies see their bosses as self-serving people, with little or no interest in promoting staff careers.

There were among the findings of the TMP/Hudson Global Resources Survey published in Indian Newslink about 13 years ago (June 1, 2004).

Now, a Massey University Research Project aims to explore the link between executive education and productivity.

Called, ‘The New Zealand Executive Education Survey 2017,’ the study is a partnership between the Massey Business School researchers and the Institute of Management New Zealand (IMNZ).

Intellectual Partners

Modelled on the ‘Corporate Learning Survey’ of the UK based Henley Business School, the Project will measure the extent to which New Zealand firms invest in executive education compared to their Australian and British counterparts.

The Massey and Henley business schools will share the results from their respective surveys and the Australian Institute of Management will also participate, allowing the capture of comparative data from Australia.

Massey School of Management lead researcher Professor Jane Parker said that New Zealand executive education data was scant.

“This research area is, in many ways, exploratory in New Zealand. We want to get a sense of the scale and nature of executive education in this country but we also have some specific questions we want to explore,” she said.

Professor Parker and her Project colleagues are keen to assess if employers consider staff development as an ‘optional extra’ and retention and motivation of employees was linked to the ability and willingingness of employers to provide them opportunities to upskill and gain further knowledge.

Influencing factors

Professor Parker expects New Zealand’s survey results to be influenced by the large number of small businesses here.

“We will await the results but there is a marked difference to the scale of the businesses in the UK. New Zealand may show more outsourcing of the HR role by small businesses and a lower level of engagement with executive education due to the perceived cost,” she said.

IMNZ Chief Executive Steven Naude said that New Zealand employers should know how they compare to those overseas if they are to retain the best people.

“If executives are moving to New Zealand with an expectation of continuing development, there could be frustration if those expectations are not met. The survey results will be valuable for HR professionals operating in a fast-changing sector,” he said.

“The demands for innovative, real-time, flexible development are increasing all the time – development professionals have to deliver more with less and faster. We hope this research will not only assist Kiwi businesses to respond to these changes, but also help them to predict the next wave of expectations,” he added.

The New Zealand Executive Education Survey 2017 will gather the perspectives of senior managers, middle managers and high flyers (those who have been identified as future leaders).

The survey will be conducted by researchers from the MPOWER (Massey People, Organisation, Work and Employment Reseach) hub.

Key Objectives

The scale and nature of executive education activity in New Zealand

Which organisations are offering executive education programmes, and to who

What continuing development means for high flyers

Whether New Zealand has capability gaps

Whether training models are changing

Whether executive education has positive benefits for productivity

How New Zealand compares to the key labour markets of the United Kingdom and Australia.

The survey will be open until March 24 and can be accessed at

Additional Reading: Our Leader, ‘Employer apathy leads to employee discontent’ under Viewlink on Page 12 in this issue.

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