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Change approach secures Farmlands’ win at HR awards

Farmlands featured prominently at last week’s NZ HR Awards in Auckland.

The co-operative was nominated in three categories, and took away the trophy for Organisational Change and Development. This award recognises sector-leading initiatives that demonstrate innovation and a responsible approach to organisational change.

Held on 28th February and organised by the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HRINZ), the awards represent the pinnacle of excellence within the national HR community and are judged by senior practitioners.

Farmlands’ win showcased the work of those ushering the nationwide rural services and supplies co-operative through its largest-ever business transformation programme, known as Braveheart. To steward 1,400 employees through the Braveheart Programme, Farmlands has created many landmark initiatives, including a dedicated peer support network.

“The Change Clan has been instrumental in ensuring that culture, business process and technological change is happening with our people, not to them,” Chief Executive Peter Reidie explains.

Change Clan members are self-nominated Farmlanders that receive Braveheart training and Programme updates before their peers. They communicate these upcoming changes to their different business units, answering questions on the ground and relaying any feedback directly to the Farmlands Leadership Team. They can also highlight opportunities to do things in a better way to the Braveheart team.

“These staff members are really passionate about this Programme’s success and see it as a development opportunity for themselves. They have become Braveheart’s biggest internal advocates and we have a level of two-way communication that ensures Farmlanders’ voices are heard and acted upon,” Mr Reidie says. 

The HR award recognised that the Farmlands’ Change Clan initiative has been a positive way of embedding lasting organisational change across all levels of the business. It has also grown the change, communication, resilience and leadership skills of our team members.

Farmlands was named a finalist in two of the 14 other HR awards celebrated on the evening – the Learning and Development Capability Award and the Christian Dahmen Memorial Award for HR Innovation and Technology.

These accolades come on the back of a successful year for the co-operative, including the 2018 NZ HR Awards where Farmlands won the award for Talent Acquisition, Development and Management, as well as the KPMG Customer Experience Excellence Award.

“This recognition shows we are tracking well on our journey to becoming a great co-operative,” Mr Reidie says. “We want to make sure all staff are fully prepared and equipped to embrace the opportunities this new technology and business model will bring for our co-operative and our shareholders, from day one and into the future.” 


For more information on the HR Awards go to the HRINZ website.
Pictured: Chief People Officer Ruth Knewstubb accepting the award for Organisational Change and Development on behalf of Farmlands Co-operative. Accompanying Ruth were Andrea Gardner and Kate McLachlan from the Change team.