IN TOUCH : EEO – the creative pay-off

Winners of last year’s EEO Trust Work & Life Awards (featured in NZ Management, November issue) are still reaping the benefits many months later.
“Huge, huge benefits – we became famous overnight,” says Margaret Doyle of accountancy firm BDO Spicers Taranaki (now BDO Taranaki), which won the Workplace Work & Life Award last October for the flexibility and work-life initiatives offered to its 80 staff.
“The benefits are far greater than we ever could have imagined,” adds Doyle, BDO’s practice manager. “All of sudden everyone wanted to talk to us – there were invitations to speak at conferences and be interviewed. Our team was ecstatic. The advertising and media coverage we received – and are still receiving – is unbelievable.”
Now in their 13th year, the EEO Trust Work & Life Awards share the stories of employers who devise creative responses to the challenges of providing flexible working options, employing diverse people, and improving literacy and numeracy.
EEO Trust chief executive Philippa Reed says that the Awards aim to recognise businesses that show innovation in their commitment to their people.
“It takes great deal of creativity and determination to develop workplace practices which enable everyone to contribute at work, regardless of their responsibilities outside work,” she says. “The Awards celebrate employers who achieve this, not just because it’s good for their employees but because it’s good for their business.”
There are six categories, with Supreme Winner chosen from the winners of each category. The categories are:
• Tomorrow’s Workforce Award, which recognises innovative responses to tomorrow’s employment challenges;
• The Work & Life or Diversity Initiative Award, which celebrates initiatives that create opportunities for greater engagement and productivity;
• The Workplace Diversity Award, for organisations which make the most of employee diversity;
• The Workplace Work & Life Award, which celebrates organisations which enable people to flourish at work and at home;
• The Skills Highway Award, which is back for second year, and recognises workplaces which can show how they have helped improve their employees’ reading, maths and communication skills;
• The Walk The Talk Awards, for leader who exemplifies excellence in managing diverse workforce.
Margaret Doyle says that compiling an entry is easy, thanks to clear guidelines and support from the EEO Trust’s business development staff.
“Preparing the entry focused us on the positives and the journey we have travelled to get here today,” she says.
Entries for this year close on July 22 and winners of the EEO Trust Work & Life Awards 2010 will be announced on October 28 at gala dinner at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

For more information, see www.eeotrust.org.nz

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