BDO Wellbeing & Business Performance Index

Exploring the relationship between business performance and wellbeing

April 2023 Report

We are delighted to share with you our April 2023 report featuring the latest findings of the BDO Wellbeing & Business Performance Index – BDO Te Rangahau o ngā hauora pai. This is our third biannual report – a unique study exploring the relationship between business performance and mental wellbeing among over 500 New Zealand business leaders and owners. View our latest report insights and business tips below. 

To start the conversation, news reporter Wilhelmina Shrimpton interviewed Kimberley Symon, BDO Advisory Partner, to discuss key challenges and what business leaders can do to alleviate them. 

Business financial concerns to the fore

Unfortunately, wellbeing among New Zealand business leaders has declined since our first measure in May 2022, decreasing from 69 to 62 in March 2023. During this same period, the impact of business financial pressures has steadily increased. Business financial pressures are now the most commonly cited cause of negative wellbeing in our April 2023 results, overtaking COVID-19 for the first time. Meanwhile, business leaders now cite external economic pressures as the second most significant cause of negative wellbeing – a reflection of the ever-increasing economic challenges businesses are facing both here in Aotearoa and globally.

With economic and market conditions worsening for many, it’s important that business leaders focus on what they can control as a way to manage wellbeing. Strong financial management is an essential tool for business leaders to move through these tough times, and you will see a range of specific tips on this in the report – as well as broader advice covering the other key concerns for business leaders, such as supply chain planning, risk management and sustainability.

Special feature – BDO Business Resilience Guide

As a special feature of this edition, the April report includes the BDO Business Resilience Guide, sharing strategies and considerations for business leaders in preparing for the impacts of escalating economic challenges and potential recession. You'll find the guide at the end of the report here

Sector-specific insights & tips

View sector-specific commentaries, business tips and video interviews with our BDO sector leaders, covering agribusiness, construction, healthcare, Māori business, retail and tourism below.

Agribusiness sector

Agribusinesses were excluded from the third measure of our BDO Wellbeing & Business Performance Index survey, undertaken during March 2023, due to disruption via recent adverse weather events including Cyclone Gabrielle. Instead, we have taken the opportunity to share sector insights from two of our national BDO Agribusiness team - Rod Hansen, Agribusiness Partner, BDO Christchurch and Charles Rau, Agribusiness Partner, BDO Gisborne. In this special edition of the report, they share their views on the key challenges facing the sector and how business owners and leaders can overcome these.
Read the Agribusiness sector overview

Construction sector

Construction business leaders scored 64 out of 100 on the WHO-5 Index. The Index has been on a steady decline since our first measure in May 2022; moving from 82 out of 100 in May 2022 to 68 in October 2022 and now to 64. This decline has reflected worsening market conditions for the industry. In May last year, most construction businesses were still in a boom phase, with more work than they could handle. However now, our BDO Construction Sector Report 2023 shows a decline in forward work, particularly for lower turnover businesses and in the residential sector. The declining WHO-5 Index among construction business leaders and owners is the most pronounced across all sectors we monitor.
Read the Construction sector overview

Healthcare sector

Healthcare scored 62 out of 100 on the WHO-5 index – the World Health Organisation’s internationally recognised wellbeing measure. This represents an increase of 2 points from our October 2022 measure, perhaps indicating a slight easing of pressures as a result of the impacts of COVID-19 continuing to wane.
Read the Healthcare sector overview

Māori business sector

Māori business leaders scored 62 out of 100 on the WHO-5 index – the World Health Organisation’s internationally recognised wellbeing measure. This represents a slight drop of 2 points from our October 2022 results, and follows a trend whereby wellbeing among Māori business leaders has declined from a high of 73 out of 100 in our May 2022 measure. 58% of Māori business leaders say that they have been feeling less mentally healthy than normal in the past six months – 10% higher than our whole-of-business average.
Read the Māori business sector overview

Retail sector

Retail business leaders scored 56 out of 100 on the WHO-5 Index. This is 6 points lower than the whole-of-business average and is the lowest WHO-5 Index score across all sectors we measure. In October 2022, the WHO-5 Index had climbed to 62 – a reflection of stronger trading after the lows of the COVID-19 pandemic, with more people returning to the CBD. This latest decrease in wellbeing reflects worsening economic conditions.
Read the Retail sector overview

Tourism sector

Tourism business leaders scored 66 out of 100 on the WHO-5 index in our March 2023 results, an increase of 4 points from our October 2022 measure. This was four points higher than our whole-of-business average, and reflects the improving market conditions the sector is experiencing. While still not at pre-COVID-19 levels, business is certainly improving for tourism operators, with cruise ships coming in and more visitors on our shores. The latest numbers from Statistics NZ show an increase from 5,235 overseas visitors in February 2022 to 359,855 in December 2022.
Read the Tourism sector overview

About the index

Launched in June 2022, the BDO Wellbeing & Business Performance Index – BDO Te Rangahau o Ngā Hauora Pai - is a unique biannual study exploring the relationship between wellbeing (leveraging the World Health Organisation’s globally recognised WHO-5 Wellbeing Index methodology) and business performance in the New Zealand business sector.  

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