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Ask Our Specialist – 3 Steps to Better Diversity

Published September 11, 2017 (last updated November 19, 2020) -

A survey conducted early in 2017 found 50% of the labour talent pool in Auckland are migrants or are children of migrants. As competition in every sector tightens employers should be looking at how they can shape their workforce to best service the market with diversity now expected as the norm and not the exception.

There are three simple steps employers can take to encourage diversity in the workplace and reach as many potential customers as possible.

1. Flexible working arrangements

Whether it is a family-friendly arrangement, or flexibility shown around hobbies or interests of a potential employee, the benefits of being flexible go far beyond increased productivity. Employees feeling they can shape their work around their life are less likely to leave, meaning less absenteeism and lower rates of turnover. Flexible working arrangements do not have a set formula but documenting the agreement and having both parties sign it is best practice.

 2. Inclusion from management

Some managers can be completely unaware they are being offensive or not respectful of other cultures. Any simple method to educate managers, particularly new managers, on the difference between cultures should be done routinely. There are laws which outline behaviour such as harassment and discrimination, however managers and other employees should be advised as much as possible on how to communicate effectively across cultures.  Diversity is great, but inclusion within a diverse work culture is essential.

 3. Equal opportunity recruitment

Recruitment for any position should be done in a way that evaluates the merit of a candidate and underpinned by a process completely free from discrimination. Employers can encourage equal opportunity through a policy document which outlines what is expected of managers and other employees. Ensuring employees sign the document to indicate they understand what is expected is strongly encouraged.

These are only rough steps to promote a more diverse workplace which will have untold benefits to any business. For advice on how to manage diversity in the workplace, employers should contact Employsure on 0800 568 012.

About Employsure

Employsure is one of New Zealand’s largest workplace relations advisers to small and medium businesses, with over 5,000 clients. We take the complexity out of workplace legislation to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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