BSI Culture Excellence Awards 2024

Get your workplace recognised for its awesome culture!

Stand out and attract top talent with a Culture Excellence Award

Let’s face it, having a healthy workplace culture is more important now than it’s ever been.

And we know you’re working hard to make sure you’ve got one.

Everyone knows by now that a healthy workplace culture is the most important thing when it comes to:

  • Keeping your most skilled employees.
  • Attracting more top-quality candidates.
  • Making sure your people are loving what they’re doing and are happy to be at work.
  • Getting the best work out of your amazing team.

So how do you get recognised for the work you’re putting in? How do you shout it from the rooftops?

We are back, and this year, we’re global!

The Culture Excellence Awards were the first awards in New Zealand to focus on a business’s culture as the only judging criteria – yes, this means no financials!

And this year, we’re taking them global so people from around the world can show us the amazing things they are doing to put their people first.


Entering the BSI People Skills Culture Awards gave Released the incredible opportunity to reflect on how far our business has come in its almost 10-year journey and to celebrate the amazing people who have got us to the place where we are today. 

It was humbling to reflect on how many clients have placed their trust in our skills over the years and how many of our team members said working for Released is the best “job” they have ever had. 

To us Released isn’t a “job” its a way of life, we love what we do, who we work for and the opportunities given to us to make a real difference in the lives of our clients and improve their businesses for the better. 

Kelly Beaumont


We’d like to say a huge thank you to Cathy, Darragh and the team at BSI People Skills for all the hard work that goes into making these awards happen, for the exceptional guidance given on how to tackle the entry process and also for the judges and sponsors for their generous contributions. 

Finally, for all those teams out there thinking of entering, this is an opportunity to celebrate the most important assets we have, so take the time to reflect and acknowledge what makes your team so special. 

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata he tangata he tangata!
What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people!’ 

2023 Award Winners

2023 Finalists

Some of the 2023 finalists and winners enjoying their finalist prize from riders&elephants

The team from Cheal – 2023 Finalists

James Cook team – Our People’s Choice winners.

“Our team have fun using the Emotional Culture Deck. It’s a great tool to improve awareness and communication.”

Finalists from Advanced Accounting enjoying the Riders&Elephants experience.

All finalists will receive:

Each finalist will receive a single pack of the Emotional Culture Deck from Ryders & Elephants, valued at $US99.

Each finalist will also receive a solo, or group session to learn how to use the Culture Pack, valued at $NZ500.

Enter the 2024 Culture Excellence Awards now

There are currently six different categories plus a Supreme Award and People’s Choice Award.
Choose which category you would like to receive an entry form for.

Professional Small Business
Under 10 People

Professional Medium Business

11 to 50 people

Professional Large Business

51+ people

Trade & Retail

Educational Provider


Corporate Professional

150+ people



We’re immensely proud to support the Culture Excellence Awards, which now recognises the best in workplace culture. As champions of human-focused connections and growth, riders&elephants believe in the transformative power of healthy workplace cultures. These awards align with our mission to rehumanise workplaces by fostering genuine conversations and emotional connections. We’re honoured to stand alongside organisations that prioritise their people and contribute to a brighter, more inclusive, and human workplace.


Discover Phenomenal

We connect our clients’ causes to clear outcomes. Creating a trusted community of business owners.

Contributing by giving back monthly through our time, knowledge, and resources.



At Discover Phenomenal, we help technology business owners overcome their toughest growth barriers so they can scale exponentially.

Using a proven process, we enable a 23% increase quarter over quarter in the first two years of our engagement. We remove the risk for business owners and drive growth by bringing remarkably trained talent into your organisation.

Providing value through: 

  • Courses
  • Accredited People
  • Value-Driven Events (Workshops, Retreats, Webinars, Key Note Speakers)
  • On-going Coaching 
  • Supportive Community &
    Technology Partnerships
  • Free Books
  • Content
  • Process (Win,
    Retain, Refer)


Meeting the needs of New Zealand business owners

The Virtual Assistant Network of NZ is Aotearoa’s professional association of VAs.  By bringing together like-minded Kiwi VAs, their mission is to raise the visibility and credibility of the VA community (locally and globally), as well as providing their members with a safe place to learn industry best practices, support one another and build genuine connections.

Founder Samantha Browne believes their industry is stronger when they work together, and the unprecedented growth and success of The VA Network is proof that community reigns supreme over competition any day of the week.

From humble beginnings in 2019, the VA Network quickly became a one-stop-shop for New Zealand’s virtual assistants AND the go-to resource for business owners to easily find their match made in VA heaven.

Why Enter?

Entering the Culture Excellence Awards will give you:

  • A bit of great publicity!
  • Recognition as a great place to work (we give all finalists a pretty cool badge they can put on their website/emails etc).
  • Increased business and networking opportunities.
  • A chance to review your current culture.
  • A summary of your current culture.
  • A summary of your culture achievements.
  • You’ll identify what you’re doing really well when it comes to your culture.
  • Exposure to help celebrate your workplace culture excellence.
  • A chance to show off the amazing things you’re doing to key industry people.
  • The chance to show other businesses the amazing things you are doing for your people.

So know you know all about why this is the awards for you, here’s a little more about the awards themself.

The Supreme Award is the big one. All the winners from across all the categories go into the running to take out the Best Culture – Supreme Award! This award recognises the best of the best in Culture Excellence across all the category winners! 

The People’s Choice Award will be voted for by the public. Each entry video from shortlisted entries will posted online for the public to vote on for.

Entrants will be fighting it out to become the People’s Choice Award winner!

Great leadership, teamwork, embedded purpose, vision and values, and a high-performing culture, will be the criteria for deciding winners of the five category awards.

Awards will be given to the top performing company or organisation that puts their team and people culture at the forefront of everything they do. 

The five categories are as follows: Three within the professional sector, one for trade & retail, and one within education providers.

Choose the category that fits your business or organisation to receive an entry pack.

This award will be going to the top performing small organisation.

For professional teams of
under ten people.

This award will be going to the top performing medium organisation.

For professional teams of
between 11 and 50 people.

This award will be going to the top performing medium organisation.

For professional teams of
over 51 people

Are you a retail store or tradie business?

This award will be going to the top performing retail or trade organisation.

Are you an educational facility?

This award will be going to the top performing education provider.

NEW IN 2024

This award will be going to the top performing corporate business with teams of over 150 people.

Current and past finalists and winners thought it was a pretty cool experience. Here’s what they had to say about it!

“We loved being a part of the FIRST BSI Culture Excellence Awards in 2022”

“Regardless of whether you win or not, there are still many benefits to entering! It gives you a chance to reflect on all of the positives, how far the business has come, and everything the team has achieved …

you also get more credibility for your business, being able to show those finalist/winner badges on your website … “

Teesha Masson

Strictly Savvy
Medium Business Winner, Supreme Award Winner

2022 Supreme and Medium Business Award Winners – strictly savvy

I wanted to say thank you for creating these awards. Our industry is incredibly challenging to find quality applicants but I am happy to say we have been spoilt for choice.

Everyone we interviewed had watched the video and were so desperate to work for us because of who we were as a team.

Thank you for everything you have done to showcase business culture – It has driven some seriously good candidates through to us but also made me appreciate what I have created by putting people before profits.

Haylee Wrenn


Small Business Winner, People’s Choice Winner

We very much enjoyed being part of the awards this year, it was a lovely experience to be recognised in this area and I think it is fantastic you have chosen to highlight some of the businesses putting culture at the forefront of how they operate, it is very refreshing and very important given everything we have been through the past few years.

It has been a nice chance to reflect on what we are doing well, what is important to us and areas we have let slip or fall to the wayside as things get busy.

It was also good to push us all out of our comfort zone as you know pulling together the entry video 😊

Diane Grayson

Urban Hub

Small Business Finalist

We love the BSI people skills brand, a company that dedicates itself to building strong teams is a company we want to align with.

We really enjoyed working on the application as a team. It was interesting to see what everyone thought was the ‘best’ part of our culture. The application was a good opportunity to collaborate as a team.

It was fun to complete and reminded us of why we love working together and for Element Roofing.

Rebekah Fraser

Element Roofing

Trade and Retail Winner

“He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.
What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people, it is people, it is people.”

I would like to enter the Professional Category for Small organisation.

I would like to enter the Professional Category for Medium organisation.

I would like to enter the Professional Category for Large organisation.

I would like to enter the Trade and Retail Category

I would like to enter the Education Provider Category

I would like to enter the Corporate Professional category.