EDITOR’S LETTER : Making people count

The recession has been tough on employment relations – less money to go around, fewer jobs and an unemployment rate likely to rise still further despite some improvement to New Zealand’s economic prospects.
So it’s enormously heartening to see the wide range of human resource initiatives undertaken by entrants in this year’s EEO Awards that, as EEO Trust CEO Philippa Reed puts it, are based on “making people count rather than counting them as cost”.
Whether they’re directed at lowering hurdles faced by specific employee groups or to generating stronger employee engagement through programmes that enhance career development, health or work flexibility, it’s clear that such initiatives contribute to creating workplace cultures that are both more caring and more productive.
That those two characteristics travel side by side is hardly surprising – people generally respond positively when they sense that their needs are respected and their efforts valued. It’s all part of the glue that helps bind often disparate communities into cohesive whole and, I suspect, is something that will become an even higher priority in future – not just within specific organisations but in wider communities.
There are some big challenges ahead – how best to balance this country’s economic and community wellbeing with environmental good health for starters. Knowing how to gain people’s full engagement in finding workable solutions will be vital. In that context, our new Professional Development Guide (p48) is highly relevant tool.
Also vital to enhancing New Zealand’s business performance is good governance – and this month’s Director includes thoughtful articles that help point the way. We also look at how best to grow fledgling businesses by tapping into equity investment (p42).
NZ Management is again benefiting from the editorial knowhow of its previous owner/editor Reg Birchfield who is taking lead role in putting together next month’s special Top 200 issue.
Meanwhile – productive reading.

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