Staff prayer room is ‘just good business’
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.
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.