Overland Footwear has been named New Zealand's best overall workplace for 2017 after claiming the top prize at the IBM Best Workplace Survey awards.

General manager for people and culture Melissa Quirk credits the company's great culture, values and committed workforce as a key reason for the recognition.

"It's a lovely culture to work in, there's a lot of passionate people that are highly engaged, high performing, that strive to do a really great job," Quirk said.

"[There's] a lot of people that are very committed to the business and to creating some amazing experiences, creating some amazing products and inspiring people around them."

More than 35,000 employees from 173 organisations participated in the survey, making it the largest of its kind in New Zealand, according to IBM.

The awards recognise excellence in employee engagement and workplace culture based on perceptions of the organisation's own people.

A category winner for Best Large Workplace, Overland beat out 42 other finalists for the top award.

Prior to winning the overall workplace award, Quirk told the Herald they were "honoured" to be recognised.

"We're honoured, it says so much about feedback from our team in terms of how much they enjoy working for us," she said.

"We've worked really hard in terms of our company culture and it's a nice recognition.

"We've made quite a few changes in terms of the way that we're operating in stores ... [with] a really big focus on promoting internally ... developing and growing our teams."

Read more: The family behind Overland

Quirk said the company was constantly reviewing feedback from staff, which it actively sought.

"It's certainly an organisation that encourages and welcomes feedback as well as giving feedback," she said.

"I've never worked in an organisation that actively seeks it and acts on it."

Senior consultant for IBM New Zealand, Emma Martin, congratulated Overland on their ongoing commitment to workplace culture.

"Overland Footwear achieved consistently high employee survey response rates as well as overall engagement scores over the last 12 years and is to be congratulated on their ongoing commitment to workplace culture," Martin said.


"They are among the top organisations on key indicators, including communication, creating a sense of common purpose and teamwork – which is particularly remarkable given their highly distributed workforce. Overland clearly values the feedback of their people and takes action based on their survey results."

Founded more than 40 years ago, Overland Footwear has about 450 staff across New Zealand and Australia and operates 57 stores on both sides of the Tasman.​

The company is progressively replacing its Overland stores in New Zealand with its new Merchant 1948 flagship.

The full list of winners:

Overall Best Workplace:

Overland Footwear

The Best Workplaces winners in each size category:
• Best Small Workplace: Hyundai Wairarapa
• Best Small-Medium Workplace: Premier Group NZ
• Best Medium-Large Workplace: Mars New Zealand
• Best Large Workplace: Overland Footwear
• Best Enterprise Workplace: Mercury

Most Improved organisations in each size category:
• Most Improved Small Workplace: Blue Barn Consulting
• Most Improved Small-Medium Workplace: Just Water NZ
• Most Improved Medium-Large Workplace: Rutherford & Bond / King Toyota
• Most Improved Large Workplace: Armstrong Motor Group
• Most Improved Enterprise Workplace: Ballance Agri-Nutrients

Five year league members:
• Bay Audiology
• Brother International (NZ)
• Hyundai Motors New Zealand
• Hyundai Wairarapa
• Miles Toyota
• MRC Global
• Rothbury Group
• South Taranaki District Council

Ten year league members:
• Mars New Zealand
• Overland Footwear
• AA Insurance

Fifteen year league members:
• Flight Centre (NZ)