Maintaining relationships

“It‟s not just about asking employers for vacancies,” says Nik, Workwise Rotorua team leader. “It‟s also about where we can add value for them by meeting their needs and aiming for a win-win.”

*Mike, a previous Workwise client, was working at a local supermarket. He had been doing well in his role and was no longer using Workwise‟s services. Recently Mike stopped turning up for his shifts. Gavin, the supermarket‟s owner was concerned about the situation and mentioned the issue to Nik. Gavin and Nik have a good relationship. Nik shops at Gavin‟s supermarket regularly and they share a common passion for fresh produce.

“I‟m worried about Mike,” Gavin told Nik. “He told me a couple of weeks ago that he was going to reduce his medication and now he hasn‟t turned up for his last three shifts.”

Although Mike was no longer a Workwise client, Nik often saw Mike sitting on his front steps on his way home from work each day. Understanding Gavin‟s concerns he offered to call in and check on him.

Nik visited Mike that evening. Realising no one was home; he left his business card and a note on the front door mat.

The next morning Mike, supported by his partner, called into the Workwise office. Mike explained to Nik he had taken a sickie but had not phoned work. Guilt had set in; followed by increased anxiety, to the point he could not get himself to work the following day. He had now missed four days in a row. Mike had resigned to the fact his employer would be really angry and he would have lost his job.

Nik knew that Gavin really appreciated the good work Mike had done while working at the supermarket. He encouraged Mike to phone Gavin and tell him how he felt. “Just tell the truth mate. Be honest,” Nik said. “Gavin‟s been worried about you, so it‟s the right thing to do.”

Mike and his partner left the Workwise office with plans to see Gavin together and explain the situation. Nik hoped they would.

A couple of days went past. Nik received a call from the supermarket‟s human resources manager. “Mike‟s back at work and Gavin‟s stoked,” she said. “We have a vacancy for a car park attendant and wondered if Workwise could fill the position?”

A week on, the position was filled with another enthusiastic Workwise job seeker and everyone was happy.

“Without employers we don‟t have a business,” says Nik. “It‟s not about approaching employers „cap in hand‟ but about maintaining relationships and offering a service that supports them. I really believe if we do this the opportunities will come.”