Farmlands wins global award for leadership development

Farmlands has scored international recognition for how the co-operative develops its leaders.


Leading Farmlands Together, a leadership development initiative, has won both a Bronze Award for Learning and a highly prized Gold Award for Leadership Development at the Brandon Hall Group’s Human Capital Management Excellence Awards. This latest recognition follows a win at March’s New Zealand HR Awards for Organisational Change and Development.

With more than 10,000 clients globally, the Brandon Hall Group and their associated awards were identified by Farmlands’ development partner, Impact International, as the pre-eminent international awards to be judged at alongside its peers.

The awards cap off a 3-year journey for Farmlands with their company-wide business transformation programme, Braveheart. Farmlands identified early on that to help achieve the ambitious strategic objectives and implement a massive change in culture, leadership capability would be critical to delivery.

Working alongside Impact International, Farmlands was able to custom-design a unique leadership development programme, aligned to its vision and three strategic priorities — enduring customer relationships, impregnable business model and leading agricultural knowledge and expertise.

Farmlands Chief People Officer, Ruth Knewstubb says the co-operative has seen a significant shift in leadership capability and subsequent impact on organisational performance.
“This programme has also made a significant difference in raising awareness about the wellbeing and resilience of individual leaders and the important role they play in supporting our people,” she says.

More than 160 Farmlanders have completed Leading Farmlands Together and the benefit of the programme is already being felt across the company. Evidence shows since the development programme began, there has been decreased staff turnover, fewer sick days, better participation in performance and career development sessions and most markedly an exceptionally large increase in productivity.

Chief Executive Peter Reidie says the evidence points to staff enjoying their jobs more – and Farmlands shareholders benefitting as a result.

“Leading Farmlands Together has been exciting and stimulating for our people. It sets a marker for who we want to be as an organisation, driven by highly motivated leaders,” he says.

“We are on a journey from good to great. Our leaders are standing up like never before and that puts us in a better place on our journey.”

Caption: Farmlands leaders discuss future strategies and long-term planning at an off-site development session on shareholder, Andrea Reid’s farm.