Firm back­ing di­ver­sity gets cul­tural tick

Sunday Star-Times - - BUSINESS / NEWS & CONTACTS - ANUJA NADKARNI

Busi­nesses mak­ing di­ver­sity a pri­or­ity are be­ing ac­knowl­edged with a tick of com­pe­tency. The Su­per­di­ver­sity Cen­tre for Law, Pol­icy and Busi­ness has for­mu­lated the cul­tural quo­tient (CQ) tick that mea­sures the ex­ist­ing level of cul­tural in­tel­li­gence within an or­gan­i­sa­tion and finds the gaps to be filled.

Health in­surer Nib has re­ceived the CQ tick for its ef­forts to value and fos­ter di­verse staff to rep­re­sent their cus­tomers.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Rob Hen­nin said Nib had de­vel­oped tai­lored health­care pack­ages for its Asian and In­dian cus­tomers, tak­ing tra­di­tional medicines into con­sid­er­a­tion and com­mu­ni­cat­ing in their re­spec­tive lan­guages.

‘‘Rep­re­sent­ing and re­flect­ing our cus­tomers and com­mu­ni­ties is a ma­jor fo­cus for us. Just sim­ple things like be­ing able to com­mu­ni­cate with our cus­tomers in a lan­guage they are com­fort­able with has been re­ally help­ful.’’

The CQ tick pack­age pro­vides a sur­vey for all staff, an anal­y­sis of the re­sponses from the sur­vey,

Busi­nesses are on a burn­ing plat­form. If they don't make di­verse cus­tomers their fo­cus, they are not go­ing to be able to achieve their busi­ness tar­gets. Mai Chen

rec­om­men­da­tions and a dash­board of the re­sults.

Su­per­di­ver­sity Cen­tre chair Mai Chen said busi­nesses had no chance of sur­vival if they did not adapt and re­flect New Zealand’s chang­ing de­mo­graphic.

She said eth­nic mi­nori­ties were an emerg­ing mar­ket and if firms wanted their busi­ness, they had to ac­knowl­edge the dif­fer­ences.

‘‘Busi­nesses are on a burn­ing plat­form. If they don’t make di­verse cus­tomers their fo­cus, they are not go­ing to be able to achieve their busi­ness tar­gets,’’ Chen said.

With half a mil­lion Ki­wis born over­seas, this not only made for a larger cus­tomer base for busi­nesses to tap into but also a su­per­di­verse tal­ent pool, she said.

Auck­land alone has more than 220 eth­nic­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to Sta­tis­tics New Zealand.

Hen­nin said he was not con­scious of how di­verse his or­gan­i­sa­tion was un­til his staff took the CQ test.

‘‘The con­cern was that we weren’t rep­re­sent­ing our com­mu­nity well so mea­sur­ing our cul­tural com­pe­tency gave us feed­back that could help us cre­ate a cul­ture and de­velop prod­ucts that bet­ter con­nected us with our cus­tomer.’’

Nib’s team speaks over 50 lan­guages.

He said hav­ing a di­verse work­place drove in­no­va­tion and cre­ativ­ity.

‘‘Know­ing that we have staff from so many cul­tures is a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to learn and be­come more fa­mil­iar with each others cul­tures.’’

WHITE/STUFF DAVID

Su­per­di­verse Cen­tre chair Mai Chen says busi­nesses not em­brac­ing di­ver­sity don’t stand a chance.

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