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Taking culture to new heights

Air New Zealand launched Workplace in August 2021, connecting its global workforce when the aviation industry faced massive disruptions and uncertainty. VMG Connect has been with them on their Workplace journey from the start.

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Air New Zealand is one of the world’s leading airlines, flying over 15 million customers across 50 destinations every year.

Providing this exceptional, uniquely Kiwi customer service is a team of over 10,000 dedicated Air New Zealanders across various roles and locations worldwide.

People first

Before Workplace, there wasn’t one single platform to connect the Air New Zealand whānau. Instead, people relied on tools like Whatsapp to communicate with their teams.

And people craved that company-wide connection. “We want to hear more from you” was a frequent response to employee engagement surveys.

Air New Zealand needed a communication platform to empower its people and create a sense of belonging. And that need was further heightened with the unwelcome arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Enter: Workplace

VMG Connect worked with Air New Zealand to roll out Workplace across the entire business, providing the Digital team with technical guidance for deployment and supporting the Comms team in identifying champions to educate people on the platform and its features.

Competitions, prizes and branded merchandise created a buzz in the lead-up to the launch. And there were special events in airports to bring Air New Zealand frontline teams along on the Workplace journey from the get-go.

Two weeks after launch, 50% of Air New Zealanders were already active on the platform. That’s now climbed to 85%. With no training required, it was as simple as downloading the app to their mobile and getting started.

Encouraging connection, creativity, and innovation

Air New Zealand understands that great customer experiences start with great employee experiences, providing supportive, agile and flexible working environments that help its people thrive.

And Workplace provides a platform where everyone has a voice, can share ideas, and hear from others.

It’s a place to celebrate a job well done, calling out fantastic work across teams. To share a new way of doing something that will benefit more than just their immediate team. And to help each other get the most out of employee benefits (Air New Zealanders have access to some awesome perks!).

Cabin crew have a dedicated group, as does every Air New Zealander who works in an airport.

There is no shortage of posts sharing spectacular photos from the sky and memorable customer interactions. And there is even a group dedicated to cute animals, aptly named Furry Flyers.

Air New Zealanders are proud of Aotearoa New Zealand and the work they do. And that is clear to see on Workplace.

Open and transparent kōrero

Workplace is easy to pick up and start using, it’s mobile-friendly, and you can use it anywhere. The perfect solution anytime, but even more so in the middle of a pandemic when your people are physically disconnected and facing so much uncertainty.

Remember the earlier engagement survey feedback when people said they weren’t hearing from senior leadership? Well, that quickly changed with the introduction of Workplace.

CEO Greg Foran (already a Workplace fan from his time at Walmart) embraced the tool.

He hosted live Ask Me Anything sessions on Workplace, answering pre-submitted and live questions. People could watch live or whenever they had the time, using the Chapters features to skip to a relevant question.

At a time of great uncertainty in the aviation industry, Workplace gave Air New Zealanders the ability to have two-way communication with their CEO, empowering them to share what was on their minds.

And while, fortunately, it’s largely back to business as usual for Air New Zealand, Workplace remains a hub of conversation, with executives using the platform to share updates and receive feedback from across the company.

Chief Operating Officer Alex Marren regularly shares snippets of her time out and about with flight crew and ground staff. Chief Transformation Officer Mike Williams uses live video to update Air New Zealanders on how projects are progressing. So much more engaging than an email or a poster (!).

Maintaining momentum

The success of Workplace at Air New Zealand shows no sign of slowing, with plenty going on to encourage staff to stay connected.

The much-loved weekly wrap summarises interesting posts published over the last seven days. As staff scroll through their Workplace feed, it’s hard to miss, with the wrap showcasing an image taken by a fellow Air New Zealander. It’s a great way for budding photographers to get their moment in the spotlight, too!

And because everyone loves a bit of healthy competition, there’s even a weekly quiz on Workplace. Employees are encouraged to share their scores and tag their workmates, making it a fun and interactive experience for all. 

Air New Zealand’s Workplace community is a pretty special place, and we’re proud to continue to support them to get the most out of the platform.

If you want to drive engagement and build community at your organisation, get in touch! We’d love to help you achieve your goals.

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