Serena and Siuai Fiso have set about creating a unique work environment in the heart of Porirua – one that’s very attractive to Māori and Pacific Island employees, particularly youth.
Connect Global is an outsourced contact centre, situated in the heart of Porirua, that has been going for 13 years.
Co-owner Serena says that often these young people don’t fit into the box of a normal corporate environment. As such are overlooked, but if given the opportunity they can thrive in the call centre environment.
Serena says taking on young people is not without its challenges.
“A lot of young people have no work ethic which means as an employer you have to start with basic training and that means building a strong work ethic. These young people have to learn what it means to work – you’re not just teaching them the skills of the job but teaching them how to actually go to work and do their best while they are there.”
Serena says that because Porirua has so many young people it’s critical to be an attractive employer to these young people.
“For us to grow our business we understand that young people are our future. We also focus on mothers – that’s another big thing for us – mothers have such an important role to help develop our people both at home and in the workplace. It is all about creating a better future for our people.”
Having clear boundaries just like in a family is the key to creating a good working environment for youth.
Janelle Williamson has been with Connect Global for two years with a brief stint of work experience eventually leading to a full time job.
“I really like the environment and how they look after you like family. There is lots and lots of support. When I first got here I was a bit lost and they did loads to help.
“Now I find everything is easy, there are lots of incentives to do well and there are constantly new opportunities.”