EEO Trust Awards: Valuing People -- Creating Value; If the Recent Furore over Gender Pay Equity Seems like a Blast from the Past Then the EEO Trust Work & Life Awards Offer a Refreshing Vision for the Future. as This Year's Winners Again Prove -- Empowering Individuals to Give Their Best Is What Really Puts the "Force" Behind "Work". How? Vicki Jayne Counts the Ways

New Zealand Management, September 2011 | Go to article overview

EEO Trust Awards: Valuing People -- Creating Value; If the Recent Furore over Gender Pay Equity Seems like a Blast from the Past Then the EEO Trust Work & Life Awards Offer a Refreshing Vision for the Future. as This Year's Winners Again Prove -- Empowering Individuals to Give Their Best Is What Really Puts the "Force" Behind "Work". How? Vicki Jayne Counts the Ways


Byline: Vicki Jayne

Thinking ahead

Nothing is more certain than that the workforce of tomorrow will differ from that of today. What might tomorrow's talent pool look like? Will it be attracted to your particular industry? How can you better meet its needs?

These are the sorts of questions that prompted Hawke's Bay District Health Board to create a programme designed to engage and excite the next generation of health workers. With New Zealand's need for health professionals increasing significantly by 2021, the future health sector workforce is "one of the greatest workforce development challenges of our time," notes Programme Incubator manager Wynn Schollum.

Initially trialled at Hastings' Flaxmere College in 2007, the programme puts health professionals in front of students -- not just talking about their work but providing hands-on demonstrations and, perhaps even more importantly, sharing their passion for what they do. Despite busy clinical workloads, health staff are readily volunteering their services, says Schollum. "The collective approach is what makes it magic."

The programme has now been rolled out to 19 schools including kura kaupapa, five more DHBs and the schools associated with them -- as well as the New Zealand Correspondence School. It now includes summer internships that allow students to have hands-on experience ranging from one to 12 weeks of paid work, and is also expanding to include adults who want to train or retrain.

What struck EEO Trust chief executive and awards judge Philippa Reed was the energy Schollum and his team bring to Programme Incubator.

"They're all really passionate about it -- perhaps because they are so acutely aware of the impending shortage of health workers. And they are strongly driven to improve health outcomes."

That passion helped the Incubator project not only earn Tomorrow's Workforce Award but "Supreme Winner" in the 2011 Awards.

It was against some tough competition.

This year brought a record number of entries from a wide range of sectors -- with the public, private and not-for-profit sectors all well represented, notes Reed.

While the future focus ranged from building Maori/Pasifika academic strength at a university to providing training that improves post-release outcomes for prisoners, none of the Tomorrow's Workforce entries specifically addressed the issue of an ageing workforce. Perhaps more surprisingly, given the recent rehashing of the gender equity debate, no entry in any category focused specifically on women's continuing under-representation at senior management levels.

While the awards are split into five main categories: Tomorrow's Workforce, Work & Life (attracting the most entries), Skills Highway, Diversity, and Walk the Talk, there was, perhaps inevitably, some crossover with a few entries less specific in their targeting. What they all share is an ability by organisations to think outside the box -- getting the best from individuals by adapting workplace practice to better meet their needs and abilities.

Attracting new talent

In its bid to attract graduates in a highly competitive market, Deloitte NZ discovered a powerful tool in social networking. The company, whose workforce comprises 61 percent Gen Y, launched its Facebook page in late 2009 and met immediate success with more and higher quality graduates and summer interns accepting job offers. The company has since been sharing its social media success story -- not just locally but in the US.

Access to social media websites used to be blocked for employees, so Deloitte's first milestone was creating a policy for social media use and switching on access for all staff during work hours, according to talent acquisition manager Richard Long.

Its future-focused initiative has earned widespread recognition -- earning a US social networking award, being voted amongst the top 40 Facebook pages in the world, becoming a finalist in the TVNZ New Zealand Marketing Awards -- and now taking out a highly commended award from the EEO Trust. …

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EEO Trust Awards: Valuing People -- Creating Value; If the Recent Furore over Gender Pay Equity Seems like a Blast from the Past Then the EEO Trust Work & Life Awards Offer a Refreshing Vision for the Future. as This Year's Winners Again Prove -- Empowering Individuals to Give Their Best Is What Really Puts the "Force" Behind "Work". How? Vicki Jayne Counts the Ways
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