Australia’s oldest listed automotive retail group, A.P. Eagers, is reaping the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace. We spoke with Jennifer Oddy, A.P. Eagers’ Corporate Services Manager, to find out about their innovative work practices and how smaller businesses can get on board.
Jennifer, tell us what makes A.P. Eagers a unique workplace.
I’m really proud to work for a business that promotes diversity in the workplace. At A.P. Eagers we focus on having the right person for the job. This creates an inclusive workplace where people with different abilities can fulfil the same role by having the right tools and training.
We run a range of programs throughout the business that include:
A school-based work experience and apprenticeship program to encourage young women to become mechanics.
Partnering with WorkCover Queensland to place injured workers in roles at A.P. Eager while they recover. These can be workers from small businesses outside A.P. Eagers that aren’t able to provide return to work transition roles. Sometimes these workers stay on with us in permanent roles.
Our women’s leadership program, Accelerate, where female staff members are selected by their managers to get training and become equality ambassadors throughout the business.
As part of our commitment to diversity, we've previously run programs that encouraged participation from people identifying as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
We recognise the value of our people and the unique contribution that everyone can make to the business. That's why we support our employees who have physical and psychological disabilities with the support and assistance they need to help them carry out their job. This can take the form of flexible working arrangements, transportation, modification to work vehicles, aids for vision and hearing impairment, workplace ergonomic modifications and specialised equipment.
What are the benefits for A.P. Eagers of having a diverse and inclusive workforce?
Increasing diversity in our workforce, such as hiring more women, gives us a boost in many areas including productivity, innovation, efficiency and employee engagement.
Having an inclusive workforce is good for our people, but it’s also very good for our business.
As the company expands, how do you maintain the positive A.P. Eagers culture?
Our culture comes from the top and our leaders model the behaviours they want to see throughout the business.
We also have a huge focus on training to make sure all our employees are on the same page and have the skills they need. At any one time, up to 80% of our employees will be undergoing training of some type. In fact, we were one of the finalists for Large Employer of the Year in the 2017 Queensland Training Awards.
How can a smaller business create a more diverse and inclusive workplace?
It can be hard to make changes in a smaller business or team, but it’s not impossible. It’s important to lead by example and to model the behaviours you want to see in your business. Just remember that people aren’t machines. When they break, you don’t throw them away.
Putting energy into your workers and establishing trust will pay dividends in the long run through loyalty and engagement.
How does MTAA Super support your workplace?
MTAA Super is the default super fund for our employees and we’ve had a longstanding relationship with them. Representatives from MTAA Super come and present workplace sessions for our staff on super and other topics.
We also get information and ongoing support from MTAA Super that helps us to meet our super obligations. We’re kept up to date with any changes and can get help from MTAA Super’s employer representatives at any time just by picking up the phone.
DID YOU KNOW?As at 31 July 2017 MTAA Super had over 35,000 participating employers.
A.P. Eagers at a glance
14 truck and bus brands
33 car brands
104 years in operation
MTAA Super helps businesses big and small
No matter what size business you have, MTAA Super can help you to meet your super obligations and provide default super for your employees.
Read more about the range of employer benefits and services we offer or give us a call on 1300 362 415.
Supporting diverse workplaces
MTAA Super was proud to sponsor and attend A.P. Eagers' recent Women's Networking Event. Held over two days in August, the event was attended by 250 women from all business areas of A.P. Eagers. As well as having the opportunity to network with peers, attendees heard from a range of speakers about career progression, championing change in the workplace and how A.P. Eagers is supporting women in the workplace.