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2017 Sport and recreation paid workforce survey

2017 Sport and recreation paid workforce survey

Earlier this year we repeated our survey of the sport and recreation sector paid workforce to reinforce our understanding of key workforce issues facing sector organisations.

Once again, we had a fantastic response, with more than 100 organisations involved and well over 1,000 people completing the survey. The 2016 and 2017 surveys provide a solid base-line to make some good decisions and provoke thinking around future planning and development opportunities for our workforce. 

As you would expect, our workforce is well educated, clustered between 25 and 59 years of age, with a predominantly European skew. Employees are generally satisfied with their current roles and most intend to stay for at least another two years, if not more. Collegial support, flexibility, opportunities to learn and develop are all cited as reasons to stay. Paid employees are motivated by altruism, desire to give back, personal development, shared enjoyment, and involvement with other family members. Almost 50% have also volunteered in the sector at some stage.

Over and above that, the Survey has revealed some interesting findings around what’s important both on a professional and personal level. For example, professionally, people join our sector looking for opportunities to grow and develop but they want to balance that with spending time with family and friends, raising a family, saving money and keeping fit.

There is no doubt that good workforce planning is as much about creating a great place to work, as it is about understanding what roles and skills you need to meet your business imperatives, now and in the future. Employers should be asking themselves the question: “What do I know about the motivations and aspirations of my workforce, and what am I doing to improve the “employee experience” in my organisation?”

The good news is that over half of all paid employees in the sector love their role, would generally speak highly of their organisation and would recommend working in the Sport and Recreation sector. 

Background to conducting the survey

Competition for skilled workers is set to increase as the global population and workforces continue to age. Many sectors in New Zealand and elsewhere are already feeling this challenge. Sport NZ Group is encouraging sport and recreation organisations to take a strategic approach to workforce planning and talent development. This survey gives Sport NZ Group and sector organisations reliable data to work with in prioritising the recruitment, retention and development activities needed to engage and empower our most important resource - people.

World-class leadership in sport and recreation

The survey report confirms that great leadership is critical to our future success in sport and recreation. Through a comprehensive consultation process, a Leadership Development framework was co-designed ‘by the sector, for the sector’ to form the basis of an ongoing conversation and opportunity for capability and leadership development. It provides practical guidelines, tools and resources for organisations and individuals who are serious about world-class leadership in a sector that defines the very essence of Aotearoa, New Zealand. The project is on track to be completed by the end of 2017 and to roll-out in 2018.


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