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While making it to the Rugby World Cup final is an amazing achievement for New Zealand and a welcome boost in a year filled with tragedy and challenges, the event does not appear to be having the anticipated effect on organisations, with only a 10 per cent increase in sales and revenue being reported in a recent workplace survey.
Commissioned by specialist recruitment & HR services company, Randstad, the survey of more than 250 New Zealanders found although 90 per cent of Kiwis believed the Rugby World Cup (RWC) would have a positive effect on the economy, the facts don’t appear to support the initial enthusiasm.
While many workplaces are showing moral support for the Cup, with 47 per cent of respondents saying they are running an office sweepstake and 30 per cent saying their business is coordinating staff celebrations, the bulk of respondents (80%) cannot point to any more concrete benefits of the cup in terms of its positive impact on their workplace.
Paul Robinson, Director of Randstad New Zealand says that initially, the overall feeling was the increase in tourists and the associated increase in tourism-related revenue as a result of the Rugby World Cup would have a trickledown effect to the local economy.
“While World Cup fever is helping to create a lot of positivity for the nation and business in New Zealand, many employers are not translating their intentions to hire into real action.
“Ninety per cent of businesses surveyed will not require additional staff and only six per cent of respondents say their businesses are seeing an increase in productivity as a result of the World Cup,” says Robinson.
“Of course this must be balanced by the additional revenue brought into New Zealand in other ways – travel and tourism, as well as the added international profile which will hopefully have a spin-off long term in the way of tourism and exports.
“While there is still nervousness in the air and the economy is not exactly where we want it to be, I believe the Rugby World Cup has done New Zealand a huge favour in creating positive news for a nation that deserves loads of it.
“Surprisingly, given the rugby mad nation New Zealand is known as, 63 per cent of respondents say all Rugby World Cup related activity will only consume one working day or less - much lower than anticipated.”
Robinson comments that Kiwi businesses need to ensure this significant cost in terms of employee productivity during the tournament is leveraged in some way.
“Rugby World Cup activity during work hours is costing New Zealand employers an estimated $2.2 billion*, yet this can be considered an investment in their people.
“This is a once in a life time event for many Kiwis, and it has the potential to bring people, teams, organisations and a nation together. Business leaders need to use this time wisely to ensure they maximise the opportunities to make this time memorable, exciting, inspirational and fun for their people.”