Front of house in Rotorua

Strengthening our service culture

We want people to feel welcome and have a positive experience every time they come to us for help. We’ve been working with our clients, staff and community groups to hear what’s important to them, and we’re making some changes to how we do things. You’ll start to see some new things now and other things as we develop them.

A warmer welcome in our service centres

Our service starts at our front door

Our guards are doing things differently to help make people feel more welcome when they arrive.

They’re not asking everyone for ID or checking people’s names off a list (which has happened in the past).

They welcome people as they come to the door. All of our security arrangements are the same – things are just being done in a more friendly and respectful way.

Welcome messages

We have welcome messaging in 11 different languages on our TV screens, celebrating the beautiful diversity in our communities. Our MSD people have also recorded video welcome greetings in the range of different languages they speak.

A new ‘Front-of-House’ pilot in four service centres

We want to create a warm and welcoming environment in our service centres and make it easy for people to get the services and information they’re looking for.

We’re trying out a new layout and approach in four service centres (New Plymouth, Rotorua, Flaxmere and Willis Street in Wellington).

We’re looking at a range of things – including how to use the space for different purposes, signs to help people find their way around, and different furniture options to suit lots of people. It’s also looking at some little things we can do to help make our offices more family friendly, like having water coolers and activities for the kids.

We’re taking time to test things, to learn what works best for people. Then we’ll look at how things might need to be adapted before we implement the changes across other sites.

Displaying our commitment to clients

See our commitment

We want people to see we‘re committed to consistently providing a great service.

We’ve worked with clients to rewrite our client charter. Our new client commitments describe how our clients want to be treated, written in their words.

It’s about feeling heard, feeling respected and getting all the help they can for their situation.

The commitments are on display in all our offices, in every community.

Making it easier to access information and services

Check what you might get on the eligibility guide

New online eligibility guide

We’ve been looking at ways we can make it easier for people to find out about the different ways we can help.

We know people often don’t know what to ask for, or feel nervous or embarrassed to ask.

We’ve developed a new online eligibility guide to make it easier for people to check for themselves what help they might be able to get from us.

The guide can give people an estimate on how much money they could get.

Anyone can access the guide from any mobile device or the web, including kiosks in our service centres.

New and improved Work and Income website

We’ve revamped our website to make it easier to get the information you need. The most popular topics are now up-front-and-centre on the homepage.

We’re using more photos and sharing more stories about the work we’re doing with a lot of different people to help create a warmer, friendlier space and reinforce the important part we play in our communities.

Improving our online services

We have simplified our online application form, removing questions, changing questions to make them clearer, adding ‘help’ text to explain information and improving the flow of the form to work better for people.

Making our letters better

We have a Better Letters project underway to make the letters we send to clients better. We’re making them warmer, clearer, and more tailored to the situation people are in.

One example is our ‘Hardship Summary letter’ we’ve completely re-worked. This letter was a priority because it’s sent to some of our most vulnerable people who need urgent help to pay for things like food and power. It’s one of our main letters we send around 700,000 times a year. The new letter is shorter, clearer and friendlier.

Rewriting our ‘obligations’

Sometimes people struggle to understand the things they need to do to make sure they don’t miss out on financial support or end up having to pay back money. We're have rewriting the “obligations” people sign when they receive support, to make it easier for people to understand what they need to do. We’re testing these with clients and staff, and looking to translate them into 11 different languages, so it’s available to more people.

Front of house in Rotorua
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