Staff prayer room is ‘just good busi­ness’

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Em­ploy­ing peo­ple from all cor­ners of the globe has many ben­e­fits, ac­cord­ing to Mt Al­bert Pak ’n Save owner-op­er­a­tor Brian Car­ran.

The su­per­mar­ket won the Equal Em­ploy­ment Op­por­tu­ni­ties Trust di­ver­sity award for in­no­va­tion in 2005 af­ter Car­ran set up a prayer room for Mus­lim staff.

‘‘It’s just good busi­ness,’’ he says.

‘‘It’s not bril­liant, it’s just be­ing a de­cent hu­man be­ing and un­der­stand­ing and ac­cept­ing other cul­tures.’’

Of the store’s 270 staff only half were born in New Zealand.

Em­ploy­ees are from In­dia, China, the Mid­dle East and Africa, Car­ran says.

‘‘They

re­flect

our

cus- tomer base. It makes our mi­grant cus­tomers more com­fort­able.’’

Car­ran’s ad­vice to other busi­ness own­ers is to show un­der­stand­ing when em­ploy­ing peo­ple from di­verse back­grounds.

‘‘You should un­der­stand that they will re­quire a lit­tle bit more train­ing and more care­ful train­ing.

‘‘But the ben­e­fits of that will be much more loy­alty and more con­sis­tent em­ploy­ees than you’re go­ing to get from a lot of New Zealan­ders.’’

New Zealand Post has also taken steps to ac­com­mo­date its 10,000 staff, of which 11 per cent are Maori and Pa­cific Is­land and 9 per cent are Asian.

Each year the com­pany of­fers two busi­ness and com­merce schol­ar­ships to Maori through the Maori Ed­u­ca­tion Trust.

NZ Post spokes­woman Jo Avenell says the com­pany pre­vi­ously pro­vided fi­nan­cial sup­port to Omega – Op­por­tu­ni­ties for Mi­grant Em­ploy­ment in Greater Auck­land – which helped mi­grants gain em­ploy­ment.

Sev­eral years ago it un­der­took an em­ployee cen­sus.

‘‘This helped us bet­ter un­der­stand how di­verse our work­force is.

‘‘Hav­ing a di­verse work­force of­fers di­ver­sity of thought.

‘‘Hav­ing role mod­els at lead­er­ship lev­els is crit­i­cal to en­sur­ing we have an open and in­clu­sive en­vi­ron­ment where every­one feels their voice is heard and they be­long and can thrive,’’ Avenell says.

Global work­place: Mt Al­bert Pak ‘n Save owner op­er­a­tor Brian Car­ran with staff mem­bers Shireen Mamoe from Samoa, Ed­die Pan­ti­tanont from Thai­land and Musa Ali from So­ma­lia.

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