Global experts form new advisory group

A new advisory group – featuring some of New Zealand’s most prominent business people – is set to support one of the country’s largest facilities management services companies to tackle key issues facing New Zealand business, including employee wellbeing.

Established by OCS New Zealand, the group includes Sir Bill English, Rob Fyfe, Francois Barton, Mike Burrell, and Jo Wills, who all bring a wealth of local and international knowledge and expertise.

Gareth Marriott, OCS ANZ Managing Director, says one of the greatest challenges the business and the global workforce is facing is employee wellbeing.

“Across the globe, we can see that people are simply running on empty which is impacting their personal and work lives, and that’s particularly prevalent for essential workers.

“As a business, we know we don’t have all the answers, but we also know we need to make employee wellbeing a priority if we want our workforce and our customers to thrive. That’s one of the areas where we need to draw on the expertise of our group to come up with fresh solutions with real impact.”

Rob Fyfe, accustomed to working with and transforming some of the world’s commercial giants, says the new advisory group provides a formidable strategic force for OCS.

“The group combines political and commercial acumen, expertise in health, safety and workplace wellbeing, in-depth sustainable business insights, and decades of strategic advisory experience and global connectedness,” says Fyfe.

“I have admired OCS’ work for many years, going back to my time as CEO of Air New Zealand. Having worked more directly with the company over the last five years, I have huge respect for the work that the 3,500-strong OCS team does around the country and the spirit and commitment that exists at all levels.

“Never has that been more evident than in the past 14 months, with the majority of the team being on the frontline of New Zealand’s response to COVID-19.”

Francois Barton, executive director of the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum, says there should be no greater focus for a business than on workforce mental wellbeing.

“There are so many things impacting people – stress, economic, environmental – all of these add up and become critical issues. We need to have frank and free conversations with business leaders to address the real issues our workforce is facing.

“Businesses with a strategy of building resilience and depth – in their balance sheets, systems, supplier and client relationships, their people and their ability to learn – are the businesses that will be best positioned to adapt, identify and grab opportunities as they emerge.”

Marriott said the challenges of the last 14 months showed him the benefits of being able to draw on expert advice across some critical areas and to help the business and its workforce to grow and thrive, he needed to be looking outside the business.

“Each group member offers a very specific set of skills, which they have acquired through decades of real-world experience. Bringing them all together will challenge us to keep what’s important front of mind and support us to become an even better business. This, in turn, benefits our team and customers and sets us up well for the future.”

The group will meet four times a year to ensure clear strategic objectives are set and met for the business as well as tackling key themes.