Published on Stuff
Businesses making diversity a priority are being acknowledged with a tick of competency.
The Superdiversity Centre for Law, Policy and Business has formulated the cultural quotient (CQ) tick that measures the existing level of cultural intelligence within an organisation and finds the gaps to be filled.
Health insurer Nib has received the CQ tick for its efforts to value and foster diverse staff to represent their customers.
Chief executive Rob Hennin said Nib had developed tailored healthcare packages for its Asian and Indian customers, taking traditional medicines into consideration and communicating in their respective languages.
“Representing and reflecting our customers and communities is a major focus for us. Just simple things like being able to communicate with our customers in a language they are comfortable with has been really helpful.”
The CQ tick package provides a survey for all staff, an analysis of the responses from the survey, recommendations and a dashboard of the results.
Superdiversity Centre chair Mai Chen said businesses had no chance of survival if they did not adapt and reflect New Zealand’s changing demographic.
She said ethnic minorities were an emerging market and if firms wanted their business, they had to acknowledge the differences.
“Businesses are on a burning platform. If they don’t make diverse customers their focus they are not going to be able to achieve their business targets,” Chen said.
She said with half a million Kiwis born overseas, this not only made for a larger customer base for businesses to tap into but also a superdiverse talent pool.
Auckland alone has more than 220 ethnicities, according to Statistics New Zealand.
Hennin said he was not conscious of how diverse his organisation was until his staff took the CQ test.
“The concern was that we weren’t representing our community well so measuring our cultural competency gave us feedback that could help us create a culture and develop products that better connected us with our customer.”
Nib’s team speaks over 50 languages.
He said having a diverse workplace drove innovation and creativity.
“Knowing that we have staff from so many cultures is a wonderful opportunity to learn and become more familiar with each others cultures.”
Familiarising with each others cultures within an organisation also helped serve customers better in the long run, he said.