How to implement EEO to benefit from diversity

  • Establish commitment to EEO/diversity.
  • Meet with an EEO Trust representative who can guide HR managers or senior management through the process of adopting EEO/diversity strategies.
  • Become familiar with EEO initiatives and strategies. See how some of our EEO Trust Work & Life Awards winners use work-life and diversity initiatives to improve business outcomes. Click on the FAQ menu at the top of the page for examples of EEO policies.
  • Download our free toolkits with checklists and suggestions for supporting a diverse workforce.
  • Join the EEO Employers Group.
  • Draft an EEO/diversity strategy by downloading some sample EEO policies
  • Appoint someone within the organisation to monitor and implement EEO/diversity activities and training.
  • Consult employees, unions, colleagues, employer associations and other organisations that have already adopted EEO/diversity strategies.
  • Develop an action plan
  • Provide EEO training for management and staff.
  • Monitor, assess and follow up on your action plan. 
  • Publicise your commitment to EEO and diversity. 
  • Access the EEO Library for an extensive collection of publications and specialist resources.
  • Register for the EEO Trust magazine Diversity in Action to keep up with current issues and research.
  • Download Versatile Workplace - Business Success (1.3Mb pdf), an EEO Trust publication that focuses on the business benefits of implementing EEO. If you would prefer a hard copy, please contact us.
  • Explore the PeoplePower case studies to see how other New Zealand businesses are effectively managing diversity at work and the benefits they are gaining.
  • Enter the EEO Trust Work & Life Awards and gain recognition for your commitment. You can review the initiatives of the 2010 entrants and winners by purchasing Valuing people, creating value: Bringing work to life 2010, or by visiting our winners section.

Bottom line business benefits of implementing EEO

Hear what business leaders have to say on diversity and the business benefits of embracing different cultures:

 Video: Diversity in New Zealand today (1Mb) >>
 Video: Embracing different cultures in the workplace (1Mb) >>

Businesses report:

  • Support for work-life balance by Franklin Kindergarten Association resulted in savings of $300,000 over a three-year period due to staff returning to work after parental leave.
  • A staff health and wellness initiative at Southern Cross resulted in improved staff satisfaction and motivation. Absenteeism was reduced by 2.8% in six months, saving Southern Cross three times its investment in the initiative.
  • A creative approach to recruiting and retaining skilled migrants enabled Beca Transportation to grow by 30% in one year at a time when similar organisations were losing staff to their competitors in New Zealand and overseas.
  • Work-life balance initiatives improved retention of graduates at engineering consultancy Harrison Grierson, saving the firm $1000 per graduate per annum.
  • A positive approach to diversity has resulted in substantial benefits for Mount Albert Pak 'n Save. Low staff turnover saves the supermarket approximately $100,000 per annum.
  • Work-life balance initiatives have helped law firm Meredith Connell retain valued staff. Meredith Connell conservatively quantifies cost savings from low staff turnover at $360,000 per annum.

Improved recruitment

EEO/diversity practices can help ensure workplaces effectively tap into the diverse talent pool, hiring and engaging people with the skills and commitment they need to prosper in difficult economic conditions.

Greater business productivity 

EEO/diversity practices acknowledge people as a critical strategic asset. A multi-skilled and versatile workplace is engaged, open to change and innovative.

Increased staff retention

EEO/diversity strategies encourage respect between employers and employees. This often results in increased loyalty and engagement. As well as improving productivity, EEO can provide a better return on skills investment and maximise organisational knowledge.

Reduced absenteeism

Research shows that versatile workplaces which offer flexible working options and support and reward employees on the basis of merit, experience lower absenteeism.

Attracting new customers

EEO and effective diversity management can be powerful tools to help business effectively recruit and manage people who can attract new customers. Diversity in the workforce reflects an increasingly diverse customer base.

Better customer service

EEO/diversity practices often improve staff satisfaction and morale, and ultimately sales and performance.

Enhanced company image 

Workplaces that have adopted EEO and are committed to practices that encourage diversity are seen as good corporate citizens or "Employers of Choice". Doing the right thing with the right people for the right reasons often translates to higher productivity and improved return on investment.

Reduced risk of claims

Implementing good EEO/diversity practices helps create an open and inclusive culture where discrimination, harassment and bullying are not tolerated.

Better health and safety

Workplace discrimination, overwork and stress can all result in health and safety issues. EEO and work-life initiatives aim to create a healthy work environment which supports people at work and outside work.