Dunedin store sees staff engagement surge after offering unlimited annual and sick leave

  • 21/11/2023

A Dunedin store is taking the unique approach of offering unlimited annual and sick leave in a bid to keep staff.  

Hobby Lords opened its Dunedin flagship store on Friday and is eyeing expansion around the country. The store specialises in trading card games, board games, role-playing games and tabletop games.  

Appearing on AM on Tuesday morning, managing director of Hobby Lords Liam O’Neill said a big reason for implementing the policy was a bid to keep staff as it's hard to train new recruits in the industry.   

He told AM co-host Melissa Chan-Green since implementing the policy customers have raved about their staff's engagement.   

"The staff are really engaged, they are really vibrant in their energy with customers," he said.  

"Customers note it and we've been getting a lot of feedback saying our staff are really engaged with how they interact with them and we saw an increase in sales because of it as well and it just keeps surging."  

He believes other businesses could implement unlimited sick and annual leave but it would take a change in mindset.   

"I think the companies that look to do it, they really have to be structured towards it or they have to change their entire way of thinking because we've done this from the start," he said.   

"We wanted to do this, so we needed to look at this supplier is taking 1 percent of our total turnover, can we get away from not actually going through them and do it ourselves and build something to do it ourselves?   

"We've gone quite heavy in the tech space and we've built a state-of-the-art tech system essentially... that is powering our entire recuperation of profits that we lose through these programs but it means we can do things for cheaper, we can do things automated that other companies can't."  

Watch the full interview above.