Practical and powerful resources for creating great workplaces in the food and fiber industries

Farmer Hamish Murray knows firsthand what it’s like to be short of the resources needed to create a great workplace. In 2014/2015 he and his family’s upland sheep and beef farm suffered from one of Marlborough’s harshest droughts.

“My cup was empty; I had nothing more to give. When I reached an emotional breaking point, it was obvious that in order to be successful in leading others, I first had to look at myself. Soft skills aren’t a typical priority on the farm, but they matter the most if you want to attract, train and retain the best team. »

Hamish embarked on a series of coaching courses, mentoring and a Nuffield scholarship. Armed with his new skills and knowledge, he then shared what he had learned with his team.

“I have determined what I can control or change, and what I cannot. I learned to ask better and more open questions. We created a team, not a hierarchy. Access to very practical and powerful resources has improved my well-being, developed our staff’s self-awareness, and made our family business a better place to work.

Hamish’s inspiring story is part of a new initiative sponsored by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) and implemented by the GrowingNZ/Primary Industry Capability Alliance (PICA) to develop more great places to work in the sector food and fiber.

The initiative was developed in collaboration with organizations in the food and fiber sector and government, as part of the Food and Fiber Skills Action Plan 2019-2022 which sets out actions to strengthen the workforce. of the sector.

“The Great Workplaces project promotes the many people and initiatives that are already leading the way. It’s a way to share their ideas and knowledge, and to inspire other employers, managers and business owners working in food and fiber,” said PICA CEO Dr. Michelle Glogau.

Personal stories and insights, leadership and coaching courses, staff training and personality profiling are just some of the resources business owners and managers can access to strengthen and grow their place. of work.

“We know that investing in employment practices and skills development has many direct benefits for companies in our sector. Being a more attractive and rewarding place to work makes it easier to attract and retain talented staff,” says Beth Davie, workforce manager at MPI.

The project collects and promotes a searchable database database of programs and initiatives to improve employment and work practices. It includes ongoing and planned initiatives in the food and fiber sector. Each initiative aims to improve workplace standards, management practices and/or employer training.

“There is also
case studies and stories on the many great places to work in food and fiber – to inspire and motivate employers, managers and business owners to implement change in their workplace,” says Dr. Glogau .

“We have also joined forces reliable and relevant tools
improving employment and management practices. The tools are intended for employers, business owners, managers, employees, industry organizations and good industry organizations. »

For programs, initiatives, case studies and tools, visit www. growingnz.org.nz/great-workplaces

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