Cultivating curiosity helps retain talent

New Zealand companies that foster a more curious culture experience major competitive benefits, including higher levels of employee satisfaction and engagement, according to recent research by SAP.

Capitalising on Curiosity, a survey of senior business leaders and employees across Australia and New Zealand, found that employees in New Zealand who work for organisations with a curious culture are much more likely to say they are satisfied in their current role (82 percent) than those who do not work for curious organisations (46 percent).

For the purposes of the research, a culture of curiosity is defined as an organisational culture where employees are encouraged and enabled to ask questions and seek answers to help organisations run better and meet the needs of their customers, employees and the community.

A statement from SAP quotes Dr Amantha Imber, organisational psychologist and founder of Inventium, who says that job satisfaction is affected by how people think and feel about their role.

“When people are satisfied in their role at work, they’re more engaged, productive and loyal to the organisation. Those working in curious organisations are more likely to feel their work has purpose and more likely to be more creative and innovative, which results in better performance and better outcomes.”

Eight in 10 senior business leaders in New Zealand believe a culture of curiosity is important for their organisation, a number that increases slightly to 82 percent when factoring in the need to adapt and grow in the current challenging business environment.

New Zealanders working at organisations with a curious culture are much more likely say they feel engaged at work in their current role than those who say they work in incurious organisations (84 percent compared to 49 percent).
And in today’s tight labour market, almost half of employees surveyed (48 percent) would consider leaving their current role to work for a similar organisation that placed a higher value on curiosity. The rates are highest in younger workers: 57 percent of Gen Z and Millennial employees would consider a move to seek out a more curious organisation.

David Healy, chief digital officer at Ballance Agri-Nutrients, describes curiosity as a critical factor in the organisation’s success.
“The mundane becomes exciting for curious people. They look at things differently, challenge the status quo, and ultimately drive innovation for customers. That’s why we have built curiosity into our culture; we have a number of groups in the business whose role is purely to do curious work,” says Healy.

“As we move to a more data-led organisation we’re giving them the tools to keep learning, challenging and being curious.”
Adrian Griffin, MD SAP New Zealand, says an organisation’s ability to truly realise the value of technology comes down to how its people use data to gain insights and make decisions. “A curious approach, combined with skill and confidence, enables organisations to make bold, creative and ambitious decisions to deliver innovation and competitive advantage.”

To download a copy of the report which includes tips on how to start building more curious cultures, see

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