Hannah Young (Parallaxx)

Nominee/entrant details

Hannah Young, People Manager

Employer details


Size: 50-99 staff

Industry: Construction

Background on entrant/nominee's employer

Temporary Traffic Management (TTM) is an industry that every New Zealander out on the road comes into contact with every single day. We’re talking about the plethora of orange road cones, stop/go people and traffic diversions we encounter on our way to our destinations. However, these small inconveniences are of significant importance not only to our growing infrastructure, but to the health and safety of all road workers and road users. That’s where we come in. Parallaxx is all about creating harm-free environments for peace of mind construction. Our team of exceptional people create excellent temporary traffic management solutions.

Executive summary

When Hannah Young joined the Parallaxx team in 2019 to create our wellbeing program, she bought a new frame of thinking with her. Hannah is neurodiverse, having both ADHD and Irlen syndrome. Her ability to think outside the box has bought a fresh perspective and new ideas to Parallaxx; this expands beyond the areas of her scope. The results from her work in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our team is reflected in our staff retention rates and feedback received from our employees. She is warm, empathic and a role model of our company values.

Authenticity and vulnerability

A graduate of the Be. Leadership program, Hannah has a wide understanding of diversity, mental health and access needs. She has implemented processes for collecting diversity data so that team members with access needs can be supported. Throughout COVID-19, team members have been regularly checked on by Hannah to offer support to team members during a stressful time. Hannah supports team leaders and managers to have conversations with their team members regarding their mental health and accessing our employee assistance program. In the Philippines, employee assistance programs are not common. Our Philippines team members are employed by a staff leasing company. The staff leasing company had never heard of a company offering this service to their employees and were very hesitant to allow us to do this. Over several months, Hannah advocated for our team and was eventually successful in gaining permission to implement this. Earlier this year Hannah found out it would cost $150 per person for a COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines. She joined forces with our finance manager Gaylene to raise money to help our team members pay for their family’s vaccines. To encourage people to donate she said she would wear a banana costume to work for a day if a certain amount was raised. Together they raised $2500 and sure enough, she came to a full team meeting in a banana costume!

Courage and leadership

Hannah openly talks about her own experiences in a way that makes other team members feel comfortable sharing. Diagnosed with a learning disability in her early 20’s and ADHD during lockdown, she is comfortable talking to people about her experience in discovering this about herself later in life and taking ADHD medication for the first time. She puts a positive spin on ADHD, sharing the hidden benefits of it. She is emphatic towards others access needs and will happily arrange any equipment or support team members need. Hannah recently trained as a Lego Serious Play Facilitator and has used Lego to engage team members in topics that can be difficult to talk about, she recently ran a session on burnout.

Engagement and communication

As the manager of the wellbeing program, Hannah designs and runs a variety of wellbeing activities and communicates with the team through our online channels. She is one of our wellbeing coaches and regularly engages team members one on one. Team members are encouraged to talk about all aspects of their wellbeing during sessions, including mental health. Wellbeing coaches will refer team members to our employee assistance programs or arrange other workplace support when required. This year our focus has been on supporting our managers and team leaders to deal with the mental health challenges COVID-19 has bought. Our team in the Philippines has not come out of lockdown since March 2020; this has led to an increase in mental health concerns reported. Hannah created handouts with mental health tips for our Philippines team members. If a lockdown occurs in New Zealand, she checks on each team member to see if any additional support is required.


Hannah's work has had company wide impacts; from reducing turnover to improving pay equity. The staff turnover rate across both countries remains low with a combined voluntary turnover rate of 2.67% in the past 12 months. This is a decrease of 1.13% compared with previous 12 months. By comparison, as reported by the Lawson Williams Consulting Group (2020), the average New Zealand voluntary turnover rate from January to June 2020 was 6.3%. Hannah's wellbeing program design has led to our team members have setting over 200 goals, with many short-term goals already achieved. Goals vary a lot with both short- and long-term goals set. Regular follow ups are held to track progress and assist team members as required. She is currently looking into remuneration strategies and how roles can be designed to increase feelings of achievement.


Hannah takes an inclusive approach to all her work. Whether it’s planning a work event or designing a new framework for a system, she values our team members having input and being included in the decision-making process. She enjoys creating efficient processes that are user friendly. She understands that process that are hard to follow or systems that are difficult to use can cause frustration and contribute to workplace stress. Her approach contributes to our workplace culture and leads to better mental health outcomes for our team.

Innovation and creativity

Hannah is a very innovative person. She is not afraid to tackle projects and will conduct extensive research to ensure best practise is implemented, while adding her own ideas into the mix. Her wellbeing program design makes team members feel valued; the one-on-one coaching provided gives people a chance to speak about their mental health or any other issues they may be having, providing us with a chance to provide support when needed. For some team members, these conversations and support services provided have led to extensive lifestyle changes that have greatly benefited their overall wellbeing. In our 2020 innovation challenge, Hannah pitched providing biometric scanning as a service to the team (winner of 'best video') and an advertising campaign to combat abuse of road workers (winning 'biggest impact').

Supporting materials (optional)

Photograph of entrant/nominee (optional)

Link to video (optional)

Referee details

Dave Tilton, Chief Executive (Parallaxx)

0275333744 • [email protected]

Key contact

Dave Tilton, Chief Executive (Parallaxx)

0275333744 • [email protected]

3 Months
Since posted
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