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SSC Service Stations – A Culture of Caring

Case Study

New Zealand Diversity Awards, 2015
Highly Commended: Walk the Talk Category

SSC Service Stations – A Culture of Caring

A culture of acceptance and mutual respect has seen SSC Service Stations build a loyal and inclusive team.


Recognised with a ‘highly commended’ in the Walk the Talk Category in the 2015 Diversity Awards, SSC boss Selwyn Cook illustrates the power of leading from the top.

Cook has owned and operated franchises of Shell and Z petrol stations in the Waikato region for over 25 years and has grown the business from one service station to ten, employing around 100 people.

The culture at SSC is one of acceptance and mutual respect, with employees from a range of backgrounds benefitting from the family ethos embedded under Cook’s leadership.

  • This culture of caring and looking after each other like a family runs throughout the veins of the company and all its policies and procedures.
Positive approach to recruitment

Ross Mackenzie, Senior Employment Consultant at Workbridge says “SSC sets the bar high when it comes to employers taking a positive approach to the recruitment of those who are disadvantaged in the labour market for varying reasons and often as a result of public misconceptions about their ability”.

Embracing diverse-abilities

Over the past three years, Selwyn Cook has led the pro-active recruitment of over 80 staff members with an array of physical and mental disabilities, through the work placement agency Workbridge, with many of these individuals still remaining in the employ of the company.

Nothing is seen to be too hard if the candidate is the right fit for the job. The support we give continues through induction to training to ensure that a person is comfortable and is able to perform any duties to the best of their abilities.

employees are Encouraged to develop new skills

Due to the nature of the service station business, employment can often be seen as a stepping stone to further career choices. This progression is actively encouraged by Cook’s leadership and employees are supported to undertake the extra study opportunities offered by Z Energy.


SSC Team Assistant Kim Smith, who has struggled in the past with employers who couldn’t get past her visual impairment, says at SSC employees are supported to succeed and make the most of their careers.

Under Cook’s leadership she says the focus is on hiring the best person for the job and ensuring everybody can find work regardless of their nationality, gender or disability.

“The assumption that a person with a disability is not able to fulfil the same tasks as another employee disappears when the opposite is proved on a daily basis.”

“… common social stereotypes and misconceptions are broken down, meaning that SSC employees not only to treat their fellow employees differently, but their understanding of customer needs also improves.”

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