Riding the Wave Part 3

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  • 8/6/2019 Riding the Wave Part 3


    1 Oce o Ethnic Aairs 2010



  • 8/6/2019 Riding the Wave Part 3


    2 Riding the Wave

    The following pages

    provide an overview of

    eight awardwinning

    New Zealand

    organisations, and

    four international

    organisations that have

    beneted from putting

    in place diversity

    management plans

    and actions.

    Case studies introduction

    These overviews give good insight into the

    type o challenges the organisations aced,

    the benets they gained, and the processes

    they put in place.

    The organisations oer a crosssection

    o New Zealand businesses, both in size,

    and type. Youre likely to nd similarities

    with your organisation somewhere in these

    case studies.

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    3 Oce o Ethnic Aairs 2010

    Becas Transportation unit

    is based in Auckland and has

    around 50 fulltime employees.

    New Zealandheadquartered

    Beca is one of the largest

    privatelyowned engineeringconsultancies in the Asia

    Pacic region, with over

    2,400 employees

    operational worldwide.

    In the early 2000s, Beca aced a global

    shortage o engineers. While countries like

    the UK and South Arica had traditionally

    provided Beca with migrant workers,

    Becas Transportation team ound that a

    number o workers rom these countries

    only stayed a short time beore returning

    home. This meant requent recruitment

    with high, unsustainable company costs.

    The company decided to deal with

    skill shortages by both improving the

    recruitment processes and by targeting

    new countries or people who were

    top talent and shared the values o

    the company.

    What Beca Transportation did Accessed a broader talent pool

    by hiring people rom a variety o


    Uncovered the needs and concerns

    o their new employees, and then

    tackled them.

    Established a condencebuilding

    programme, providing tools or the

    success o all sta.

    Managed employee expectations

    during interviews so that people get a

    clear idea o what to expect rom Beca

    Transportation as their employer andNew Zealand as a place to live.

    Analysed the recruitment process to

    better assess and meet the needs

    o candidates and based on this

    developed a top recruitment brand.

    Managed expectations by

    outlining proessional development

    opportunities and delivering on what

    theyve promised.

    Beca Transportation

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    4 Riding the Wave

    Organised social events, mindul o

    cultural dierences, such as having

    nonalcoholic drinks available and hosting

    yumcha lunches.

    Looked at how employees worked as a

    team under pressure and provided tools

    to support them.

    Arranged a programme that explained

    how to succeed at Beca Transportation.

    Brought in a consultant to work as an

    English tutor and, since then, have used

    her skills to improve their management o

    sta o diverse ethnic backgrounds.

    Whats happened as a result? All these programmes were successul.

    They created new opportunities, new

    ideas, and new understanding about how

    to deal with issues.

    Beca Transportation built their business

    by bringing in more top talent than others,

    which meant securing more contracts.

    For every $1 Beca invested in managing

    their diverse workorce, they returned

    $5 to shareholders through sta growth

    and retention.

    Sta engagement scores increased.

    Over a ouryear period newemployee

    turnover halved.

    With more overseas sta, the companywas better equipped to help other

    migrant sta.

    What were Becas challenges? Beca Transportation thought that their

    model o using diversity to grow prots

    would spread across Beca but this has

    been slow. Despite great results it takes

    substantial extra time and commitment

    rom managers to start and sustain a

    diversityocussed programme.

    Senior sta needed to review and rewritereports o sta whose English was not up

    to scratch.

    Sta reported uncertainty about how to

    work in New Zealands workplace culture

    and how to be successul in it.

    What Beca Transportation

    recommend Understanding the expectations o new

    sta is critical. Believe that managing diversity is an

    investment and that it makes good

    business sense.

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    5 Oce o Ethnic Aairs 2010

    Damwatch is a niche

    consultancy engineering

    rm based in Wellington,

    specialising in dam

    engineering, safety and

    surveillance. The company

    is owned by Meridian Energy.

    It employs 30.5 Fulltime

    (FTE) personnel, of which,

    27.5 are technical staff.

    Damwatch has a history of

    employing ethnically diverse

    staff from overseas (with a

    few recruited also from withinNew Zealand) as engineering

    skills are not always available

    in New Zealand.

    Approximately onethird

    of staff are from overseas

    backgrounds including Irish,

    English, French, Slovakian,

    Chinese, American,Australian, and German.

    Most overseasborn staff are

    single, and as such there

    are few if any familyrelated

    settlement pressures.


    What Damwatch doDamwatch is open to an ethnic diversity

    o sta being recruited globally using

    the dam engineering network and its

    business contacts. It supports overseas

    sta by:

    paying relocation costs, and or the

    rst ew weeks o accommodation.

    organising meetings with theWellington City Settlement Support

    Ocer or new overseas sta.

    having an existing sta member as

    a 24hour contact person in case o

    emergencies and accidents to assist

    with transport/support.

    extending invitations to new sta to

    attend peoples homes or BBQs and

    social events.

    holding social gatherings, run by

    a social committee, headed by

    overseasborn sta.

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    6 Riding the Wave

    What has happened as a result?

    Growth has increased by 10 to 15

    per cent.

    The organisation has more culture specic

    knowledge a possible asset when

    working overseas.

    Overseas sta bring new and

    dierent perspectives.

    Overseas sta have brought vitality tothe company.

    Overseas sta have helped the

    New Zealand sta see themselves with

    resh eyes.

    Some overseas sta have brought new

    contacts in a specialised eld.

    Young people seem to blend in quickly at

    work and into lie in New Zealand without

    too much diculty.

    What were Damwatchs

    challenges? The nancial cost o recruiting overseas

    sta or Damwatch is up to $50,000

    per candidate.

    Candidates might not work out.

    Immigration and visa processes can delay

    candidates rom starting work.

    Cultural and person dierences required

    a dierent management approach or

    several student internships.

    What do Damwatch

    recommend? You dont have to smother new

    arrivals but be sensitive to their needs,

    and oer support.

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    7 Oce o Ethnic Aairs 2010

    Digital Island was

    established in 2004. It is

    a New Zealand owned


    provider to businesses

    in New Zealand.Digital Island is based

    in Auckland and

    has 22 fulltime staff.

    Because o a tight employment market,

    Digital Island initially hired three sta o

    Chinese background or sales positions.

    This created an unseen opportunity or

    Digital Island to break into the Chinese

    market in New Zealand, a market

    poorly catered or. They discovered that

    speaking the native tongue o their clients,

    and doing business acetoace instead o

    telemarketing, appealed to Chinese expats.

    Once the company became aware o the

    competitive advantages it started intentionally

    investing in diversity initiatives. They decided

    to take the same approach with Korean sta.

    What Digital Island did Hired Mandarin speaking sta or

    Mandarinspeaking customers.

    On learning that many Chinese customers

    wanted assurance that Digital Island was

    a sae and reputable company, they took

    the trouble to provide reerences.

    Recognising the preerence o Chinese

    customers to deal to ace, they provided

    the sales team with company cars.

    Placed a lot o advertisements in Chinese

    directories and at Chinese expos.

    Hired three Korean sales sta and

    one Fijian Indian employee andencouraged them to network with their

    community groups.

    Empowered sales sta to provide

    management with ideas o what their

    ethnic minority customers need.

    Digital Island

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    8 Riding the Wave

    What happened as a result? A business growth o approximately

    10 per cent by acquiring new customer

    markets (about 300 new Chinese

    businesses and about 100 Korean

    businesses so ar).

    Product suppliers see Digital Island as a

    company that can supply their products

    to markets that they themselves arending dicult to reach.

    Absenteeism and sta turnover


    Overall, their sta are more

    conscientiousness and have a higher level

    o skills and education (oten rom local

    tertiary institutions).

    What were Digital Islands

    challenges? Handling immigration rules, regulations,

    and details required or work permits.

    Ascertaining reasons behind an

    employees move to New Zealand and the

    level o commitment to the job.

    Finding employees with a standard o

    English suitable or good communication.

    What Digital Island recommend Put in place customer driven

    diversity initiatives.

    Realise that overall, its no more expensive

    to hire migrants than Kiwis. Digital Island

    had to sponsor a couple o work permits,

    but at a cost o about $5,000, the

    benets outweighed the cost.

    Dont cut corners when it comes topeople management, pay and treat

    sta right.

    Choose the right sta and hire on merit

    not on what is amiliar.

    Advertise widely to attract a broader pool

    o talent.

    Ask current and potential customers

    what they would need and like rom

    your business.

    Create opportunities or employee

    eedback and consider that eedback

    when it comes to improving your services.

    See diversity as an investment in your

    business, not a cost.

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    9 Oce o Ethnic Aairs 2010

    Longveld Engineering are

    stainless steel specialists

    and certied welders and

    have been operating since

    1992. Currently they have

    about 60 staff (althoughthey are planning to

    double this in the next

    12 months). About one

    third of the team come

    from overseas.

    An ongoing shortage o semiskilled and

    qualied sta had seen the company

    previously hiring the only available sta,

    rather than the best. This had led to

    a number o problems so Longveld

    Engineering decided to ocus on hiring

    the right sta even i that meant hiring

    rom overseas.

    What Longveld did Shaped the organisational culture

    in a way that was based on

    respect, and would accommodate

    individual needs.

    Recruited rom overseas.

    Brought in leadership training to help

    cause organisational culture change.

    Strengthened human resources

    practices (like recruitment) to better

    meet the needs o people rom diverse

    ethnic backgrounds.

    Set up a whanau culture, where

    relationships promote business.

    Ran personalised training, development,

    numeracy, and literacy programmes.

    Raised the bar on acceptable standards

    o behaviour and trained supervisors to

    manage this objectively.

    Set in place middle management

    communication training. Oered fexible leave arrangements and

    ully unded study opportunities.

    Benchmarked pay rates and set these in

    the upper quartile.

    Longveld Engineering

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    10 Riding the Wave

    What happened as a result? Hiring sta based on merit, and providing

    training, has raised the standard o sta

    and increased company productivity.

    Sta confict has decreased.

    Respect or cultural dierences and

    greater selawareness has led to better

    communication, increased motivation, and

    a happier work environment. Condence to expand operations

    overseas has increased.

    Client eedback to changes has been

    extremely positive.

    What were Longvelds

    challenges? Succession planning. Many trade sta nd

    the transition rom foor to supervisor a

    dicult one they oten lack condencethat they can do it.

    Finding workers with diverse skills.

    Overseas workers tend to specialise,

    whereas New Zealands small economy

    needs and expects a variety o skills.

    Dierent cultural expectations which

    could cause, or example, an older, less

    experienced person to reuse orders rom

    a younger, more experienced person.

    What Longveld recommend Invest in best practice HR systems and

    train all supervisors to use these on a

    daytoday basis.

    Being culturally aware does not mean

    having dierent rules or dierent people,

    but teach your team to understand the

    universal values o respect and empathy.

    Accept that not all initiatives cost money,and many that do are an investment

    rather than an expense.

    Understand the motivations and needs o

    each sta member to get them on board.

    This trickles down to a better service or

    your customers and a high loyalty actor

    rom your sta.

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    11 Oce o Ethnic Aairs 2010

    MW Cleaning Services

    is a commercial

    cleaning service based

    on the North Shore of

    Auckland. The business

    is 36yearsold and hasdoubled in the last few

    years. They hire between

    2030 teams, with teams

    varying in their size

    from one to four people

    per team, so they have

    anywhere between 40 and

    60 contractors. About 50

    per cent to 60 per cent of

    their staff are people of

    ethnic backgrounds from

    a number of countries,

    like South Africa,

    Zimbabwe, Macedonia,

    Kenya, and Brazil.

    MW saw that a lot o New Zealanders

    perceive cleaning as being below them.

    Even i they take it on as a job, its oten

    only temporary. Many migrants, however,

    approach cleaning as a business opportunity.

    Their motivation is high and theyre willing to

    work hard.

    MW hires people o many dierent ethnic

    backgrounds because o their emphasis on

    good cleaning, strong commitment, and

    willingness to work hard. The company

    didnt have to invest nancially or an

    ethnically diverse workorce but did need to

    adjust some o their initiatives to make sure

    that theyre understood and accepted.

    What MW Cleaning Services do Use basic language when recruiting, or i

    there are words that interviewees dont

    understand that are important (like skirting

    boards), show them to candidates.

    They try to make the interviewing

    process comortable.

    Tailor training and induction rom a

    group setting to a onetoone approach.

    Get contractors together to build

    rapport, especially at Christmas

    (and getting the catering or dierent

    ood requirements right). Give extra time o to sta who celebrate

    holidays and estivals not ocially

    recognised in New Zealand, providing

    other sta can be ound to cover or them.

    Are sure to spell and pronounce

    names correctly.

    MW Cleaning Services

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    12 Riding the Wave

    Keep language simple.

    Assess your current training to make sure

    its clear, to avoid new people missing out

    on key learning.

    Avoid oence rom peoples dierent ways

    o approaching each other (or example,

    being careul to respect gender, careul to

    avoid pairing people whose cultures might

    be in confict).

    Pay well.

    What happens as a result?

    Good work attitude. Good eedback rom customers.

    Much lower sta turnover.

    Employing many ormer ranchise owners

    because o MWs good reputation.

    What are MW Cleaning

    Servicess challenges?

    Sometimes contractors wont understand

    what they need to do or how to do it.

    MW Cleaning Services will go to the propertyand physically show them.

    Because people o one ethnicity dont always

    get along with people rom other ethnicities,

    MW needed to make sure th...