Top 8 qualities of a ‘best place to work’ (+ an announcement!)

The Voyage team

Imagine walking into an office where everyone is genuinely happy to see you (and not just because you bring donuts on Fridays). A top place to work is like a party where everyone’s invited and no one feels left out. Creating this atmosphere isn't just about fancy perks or a slick office design, it’s built on mutual respect, inclusiveness, and shared values. It makes you feel like you belong to something bigger.

Celebrating our Best Place to Work shortlist!

Making it to the 2024 Best Place to Work Shortlist is a testament to our efforts to create a positive and fulfilling work environment for our employees, and motivates us to continue delving into what makes a truly wonderful workplace culture. It also closely follows the announcement of our Great Place to Work Certification, which is doubly encouraging.

We know without a doubt this achievement would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our amazing team. This one goes out to them.

I knew that if I was to lead a company it had to be underpinned by strong values - one of them being 'all aboard' which speaks to the importance of company culture. I've seen first hand that if people feel genuinely valued, and you invest in building a strong and united team, you will achieve great things.
Ryan O’Hara, Director at Voyage

Without further ado, here are our top 8 ingredients that we think make a workplace truly exceptional:

1. A strong and inclusive company culture

At the core of a top workplace is a strong and inclusive company culture. This is the invisible thread that binds the team together, promoting a sense of belonging and shared purpose. An inclusive culture values diversity, encourages open communication, and ensures that every voice is heard. When employees feel respected and valued, they’re more likely to bring their best selves to work every day.

2. Work-life balance: A modern imperative

The days where being a workaholic is a badge of honour are fading away. Instead, flexible hours, remote work options, and respect for personal time are now non-negotiables at a best place to work. According to Randstad’s 2024 New Zealand Workmonitor report, work-life balance now ranks as highly as pay on workers’ lists of priorities (93%). We know our team has lives outside of work and support them in managing both personal and professional responsibilities. Not to mention, when our team is well-rested and less stressed, their productivity and creativity can flourish.

3. Inspirational and empathetic leadership

Good leadership is like good coffee - strong, reliable, and energising. In recent years many studies have emerged that highlight the growing necessity of inspirational and empathetic leadership. McKinsey has highlighted that not only can empathetic leadership lead to breakthroughs in customer service and exceptional business performance, but it can be a workplace superpower, quelling the potential of employee burnout and spurring on greater creativity. Transparent communication, trust, and recognition are also excellent traits of good leaders. It’s about leading by example.

4. A focus on innovation and creativity

Innovative workplaces encourage creativity and out of the box thinking. They encourage employees to bring their unique selves to work and be celebrated for it, and provide the resources and freedom for employees to experiment and explore new ideas. At Voyage our discovery sessions with clients are all about uncovering the aims and intentions for a project, and our team is encouraged to come up with creative solutions that may not fit the mould but are the best option for the client’s goal. This not only keeps the work exciting but also drives forward innovative outcomes.

5. Positive workplace atmosphere

The physical and social atmosphere of a workplace significantly impacts employee satisfaction - and that goes for in-person and remote working. When it comes to the physical office, a clean, safe, and aesthetically pleasing work environment, equipped with the necessary tools and technology, is fundamental. Beyond that, fostering a sense of camaraderie through team activities, social events, and an overall positive atmosphere makes work all the more enjoyable. At Voyage, our internal days and team gatherings - where we fly in team members from other regions - go a long way in celebrating the people that make Voyage what it is.

6. Fun factor: Because laughter is the best medicine

We know getting client projects done and dusted can become the overwhelming focus, but a best place to work isn’t all work and no play. Whether it’s impromptu team lunches, surprise pet days, or just a well-stocked snack stash, having fun at work for no other reason than to have a laugh is so important. If you were to take a sneak peak into the Voyage #random Slack channel you’d get a glimpse into some quirky (at times downright bizarre - just the way we like it) banter that adds some brevity to our task lists.

7. Comprehensive and competitive benefits

A competitive salary is important, but best places to work go a step further by offering remote working options, wellness programs, mental health support, and even benefits that support family life - such as parental leave and childcare assistance. More than words, this shows that the company cares about the holistic happiness of its employees. The really awesome places make people feel confident in asking for what they need, and are adaptable enough to respond in kind.

8. Opportunities for professional growth

Best workplaces invest in employees' growth and development. Continuous learning opportunities, mentorship programs, and clear career advancement pathways are vital. When employees see a future within the company, they are more likely to want to hang around. It’s not just about climbing the corporate ladder, but also about enhancing skills and expanding professional horizons. Think mentorship programs, continuous learning opportunities, chances to cross-skill, and promotions based on merit.

If you're interested in joining us here at Voyage, get in touch! Our virtual door is always open.