Fatu Patolo knows the names of everyone in his team, as well as the names of their family members. The Coca-Cola Amatil production manager believes this is not only basic decency, it’s also the best way to work.

“I treat our people like my family,” said Fatu. “I want them to be the best they can be. Sometimes all people need is some guidance and belief, then they can reach greater heights.”

Fatu’s approach to work and its positive impact recently saw him presented with the Walk the Talk award at the 20th annual New Zealand Diversity Awards in Auckland.

Walk the Talk Diversity Awards winner Fatu Patolo with Michael Barnett, Chairman of Diversity Works NZ

The awards celebrate leaders who are excellent at managing a diverse workforce. They’re built on the idea that diversity is essential for better decision making and helping people feel included and valued in the workplace.

“Fatu represents the values of Coca-Cola Amatil. Stand together, take the lead and keep it real,” said Erica Benton, co-chair of Coca-Cola Amatil’s Champions of Diversity and Equality.

“Most importantly, he represents our people.”

Last year, one of Fatu’s initiatives was to improve the literacy, communication and confidence of his staff which he accomplished with the help of workplace communication facilitators Aspire 2 Business.

“The programme he has championed in our business is a great example of the way Fatu helps his people to succeed,” said Chris Litchfield, managing director of Coca-Cola Amatil.

Diversity awards winner Fatu with the Amatil team

“He’s one of our leaders who walks the talk, he really is an inspiration to us all,” Chris said.

“Under his guidance, health and safety has improved. His staff are communicating more effectively and lives have been turned around as he manages a group of highly engaged people. Fatu is an extraordinary person who has lead an extraordinary programme and lives our values every day,” he said.

Production analyst and colleague Richa Chandel praised Fatu for his leadership style. “He’s all about supporting people,” she said. “In one word, he’s your guide.”

Fatu thanked his team as he accepted the award. “This award belongs to our team,” he said. “I feel that our business empowers us to do what is right by our people and encourages these development programmes, so it’s our business, our leaders and ultimately our people who graduated from the programme who should receive the credit.”

To learn more, please visit Diversity Works NZ