Cultivating Excellence: Why NZ-Based Employers Must Foster an Outstanding Work Culture for Migrant Employees

Explore the benefits of a diverse workforce and practical tips for creating an inclusive work environment in New Zealand.
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Last Updated On May 16, 2023
Contributors: Inder Singh. Edited By Yongtian Liu & Reviewed by Simar Singh.

Introduction: Embracing Diversity and Inclusion

In today's increasingly globalized world, diversity and inclusion have become essential aspects of a thriving business. New Zealand-based employers can no longer afford to overlook the importance of fostering an excellent work culture for their migrant employees. By adopting a proactive approach, businesses can reap the rewards of a diverse and inclusive workforce, including higher employee engagement, increased innovation, and improved financial performance.

The Growing Role of Migrant Workers in the New Zealand Economy

Migrant workers play a crucial role in the New Zealand economy, contributing to its growth and development in various sectors. As of September 2021, over 200,000 migrant workers held valid work visas, demonstrating the significance of their presence in the country's labor market. Here are some key reasons why employers should prioritize the well-being and integration of migrant workers:

  • Talent Acquisition and Retention: A diverse workforce with varying perspectives and skills can drive innovation, problem-solving, and adaptability. By offering a welcoming and supportive work environment, employers can attract and retain top talent from around the world.
  • Economic Growth: Migrant workers fill skills gaps in the local labor market, thereby contributing to New Zealand's overall economic growth.
  • Reputation and Brand Image: Companies that value diversity and inclusion often enjoy enhanced reputations as ethical, responsible employers.

How an Excellent Work Culture Benefits Migrant Employees and Employers Alike

A positive work culture characterized by diversity, inclusion, and respect can yield a multitude of benefits for both migrant employees and their employers. Some key advantages include:

  1. Increased Employee Satisfaction: Migrant workers who feel valued and included are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs, leading to higher levels of engagement and productivity.
  2. Lower Turnover Rates: A supportive work environment can help reduce employee turnover, thereby lowering recruitment and training costs.
  3. Enhanced Collaboration and Communication: Diverse teams that operate in a supportive atmosphere tend to communicate more effectively and collaborate better, resulting in improved performance.
  4. Greater Innovation and Creativity: Employees from various backgrounds can contribute fresh ideas and unique perspectives, fostering innovation and problem-solving capabilities.

Key Strategies for Creating a Supportive Work Environment for Migrant Workers

For employers seeking to create an outstanding work culture for migrant employees, the following strategies can serve as a useful starting point:

  1. Develop and Implement a Diversity and Inclusion Policy: Establishing clear guidelines and expectations can set the foundation for a supportive workplace environment.
  2. Offer Language and Cultural Training: Providing resources to help migrant workers adapt to the local language and culture can facilitate their integration into the workplace and the wider community.
  3. Establish Mentorship and Buddy Programs: Pairing migrant employees with experienced colleagues can provide valuable support and guidance during their transition to a new workplace.
  4. Recognize and Celebrate Cultural Differences: Encouraging employees to share their cultures and traditions can foster understanding and appreciation among team members.

Practical Tips for Promoting Diversity and Inclusion

To further enhance the work culture for migrant employees, employers can implement the following practical measures:

  1. Promote Open Communication: Encourage employees to voice their concerns, ideas, and opinions, and be receptive to feedback. Regularly check in with migrant workers to ensure their needs are being met and their contributions are acknowledged.
  2. Offer Flexible Work Arrangements: Accommodate the unique needs of migrant employees, such as providing remote work options, flexible hours, or time off for religious or cultural observances.
  3. Provide Networking Opportunities: Facilitate opportunities for migrant employees to build connections with colleagues and professional networks, which can help them feel more integrated and supported in the workplace.
  4. Offer Professional Development Opportunities: Invest in the growth and development of migrant employees through training programs, educational resources, and advancement opportunities.

Case Studies: Successful New Zealand Companies with Excellent Work Cultures for Migrant Employees

Several New Zealand-based companies have excelled in creating outstanding work cultures for their migrant employees. Here are two inspiring examples:

  1. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare: This global leader in medical devices has a comprehensive diversity and inclusion program that emphasizes cultural awareness and understanding. They also provide extensive training and support for migrant employees, helping them build successful careers and adapt to life in New Zealand.
  2. Xero: As a leading cloud-based accounting software provider, Xero places a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion. The company offers flexible work arrangements and actively supports various cultural events and celebrations, helping to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for migrant employees.

Fostering an excellent work culture for migrant employees is not only a moral obligation, but it also makes good business sense. By embracing diversity and inclusion, New Zealand-based employers can tap into the wealth of talent and expertise offered by migrant workers, driving innovation, productivity, and economic growth.

It is crucial for businesses to be proactive in implementing strategies that support migrant employees and foster a positive work environment. By doing so, they can reap the benefits of a diverse workforce while simultaneously helping to build a more inclusive and prosperous society.


Why is it important for New Zealand-based employers to create an excellent work culture for migrant employees?

Creating a supportive and inclusive work environment helps attract and retain top talent, fosters innovation and collaboration, and improves overall business performance.

What strategies can employers use to support migrant workers?

Developing and implementing a diversity and inclusion policy, offering language and cultural training, establishing mentorship programs, and celebrating cultural differences are key strategies for creating a supportive work environment.

How can employers promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

Encouraging open communication, providing flexible work arrangements, offering networking and professional development opportunities, and being receptive to feedback are practical ways for employers to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.