Diversity gains new peak

IT'S A WIN WIN: NOVA employee Travis shares a joke with Harriet McCready at Mountains Culture Beer Co.
IT'S A WIN WIN: NOVA employee Travis shares a joke with Harriet McCready at Mountains Culture Beer Co.

We think it's just good business practice with the payoff being loyal staff and loyal customers

Local business owners are discovering the value of what a more inclusive workforce can bring to their trade.

Harriet and DJ McCready, owners of the recently opened Mountains Culture Beer Co, placed diversity high on their list of priorities, long before the first beer was poured.

"At Mountain Culture we need people of different genders, ages, backgrounds and abilities because they reflect the diversity of our customers and bring different perspectives to the table," said Harriet McCready.

She hired Travis, who has a disability, as a food prep worker.

"It makes for a more insightful problem solving team that can think outside the box, so it's a win-win all round," Ms McCready said .

She was introduced to her new recruit through NOVA Employment during their annual "100 jobs in 100 days" campaign.

"Hiring a worker with a disability is no different than anybody else," Ms McCready said. "For everyone we hire, we have to make sure they have whatever they need to do a great job.

"If someone needs adjustments to seating, extra training time or modifications to technology, that's what it is. We think it's just good business practice with the payoff being loyal staff and loyal customers."

2019 marks the sixth annual campaign by NOVA Employment, aimed at bringing awareness to the abilities of people with a disability. In just over a month since the campaign began 27 business owners from Penrith to Katoomba have got on board and hired workers with disability in industries ranging from hospitality and manufacturing to retail and wholesale suppliers.

Katoomba NOVA employment manager Lyn White said smart business owners were realising the benefits of building a more inclusive workforce. "We save employers time and money by pre-screening candidates and providing them with a short-list of prospective staff," Ms White said.

NOVA Employment's services don't stop there. Support for both the worker and the Employer is offered for the duration of the employment if necessary.

"We were impressed that NOVA took care of their clients and worked side-by-side with them to ensure they were able to perform the tasks," Ms McCready said.

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