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Thursday, 12 September 2019
Visit any business around the Ashburton District or even look around your own workplace and you'll likely discover that there is no shortage of diversity around our local workforce. No matter the industry or profession, our district attracts people from all walks of life to live and work here.
A new video series developed through the Welcoming Communties programme is now exploring how this diversity is actively celebrated to help newcomers feel respected and welcome in their place of employment, entitled 'Welcoming Workplaces'.
Businesses that make newcomers feel welcome are likely to enjoy better staff morale, increased retention and stronger business development. It's a positive outcome for both new members of our community and local employers, which in turn supports our strong economy.The purpose of the video series is to promote the significant contribution skilled migrants make to our district. The videos shine a light on the ways businesses are implementing systems that raise their staff up and ensure everyone feels supported, connected and respected – no matter from what part of New Zealand or the world they may have come from.As we increasingly welcome more and more newcomers to our region, a number of local businesses are happy to share how they are already thriving on diversity and how their workplace is culturally vibrant and invigorated. It's great to see the proactive steps people are taking to ensure their workforce is reaching its true potential, and how these steps could be implemented in other workplaces.Two businesses that have featured in the videos thus far are Subway Ashburton and Rakaia Island Ltd. Although vastly different in the product or service they provide, and operating in two very different fields (hospitality and primary industries), both businesses exemplify many of the same values around their workplace.
For example, there is a commitment to seeking out ways that bring workers together for social activities; ensuring people are not made to feel different or left out; assisting newcomers to settle in; and recognising when they need support – whether that be accessing services or overcoming language barriers.
I encourage you to watch these Welcoming Workplace 'champions' and consider how your place of work could benefit from introducing meaningful activities that encourage everyone to feel part of the team and truly supported.The videos are available to watch on the Welcoming Communities – Ashburton District Facebook page and on the Council's YouTube channel. New episodes for the series are being released each fortnight.