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Change approach secures Farmlands’ win at HR awards

Farmlands featured prominently at last month’s NZ HR Awards in Auckland. The co-operative was nominated in three categories and took away the trophy for Organisational Change and Development.

These awards are organised by the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HRINZ) and represent the pinnacle of excellence within the national HR community.

Farmlands’ win showcased the work of those ushering the co-operative through its largest-ever business transformation programme. 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,” Farmlands Chief Executive, Peter Reidie, explains. Change Clan members are selfnominated team members that receive Braveheart training and programme updates before their peers. They communicate these changes to their business units, answer questions and relay feedback. They can also highlight opportunities to do things in a better way to the Braveheart Team.

Farmlands Chief People Officer, Ruth Knewstubb, says that leveraging the scale of the Braveheart programme to develop Farmlands team members was a key commitment made to people in the co-operative. “We have seen many examples of Change Clan members stepping out of their comfort zone and doing things they would have never thought possible. It’s these growth experiences that will ultimately benefit our shareholders – through the increased confidence and capability the team members have gained,” Ruth says.

Ruth accepted the Organisational Change and Development award on behalf of Farmlands, accompanied by Andrea Gardner and Kate McLachlan from the Braveheart Change Team. Farmlands was also 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.

“This recognition shows we are tracking well on our journey to becoming a great co-operative,” Peter 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.”