Business South April 2023

68 | New leadership teams A Grow programme, focussed on improving capabilities , has been a big change for many in the Finegand leadership team.” T T from page 66 Silver Fern Farms - Finegand PRODUCTION “Firstly we rebuilt the senior team. Those people who came into those senior roles selected their leaders and rebuilt their teams and we slowly worked right down to supervision and team leadership. Historically, people can get put into leadership roles for all kinds of reasons including seniority or being a great machine operator, to mention just two — none of which necessarily makes them a great leader of people. So the task was to gently reposition people into roles that they were most suited to. Generally speaking, the people being repositioned were happy with the outcome, as it was a much better fit for their natural capabilities. But there’s always that challenging time when you have to deal to those few individuals resisting change or who held different values and were holding up progress. If people don’t have the right values that tends to be a game breaker.” With the right people in the right leadership roles, it was time to build capability, giving those new leaders the training and tools, they needed to do the job at the right level. Silvio acknowledges that building leadership capability is something that Finegand could have given a greater focus to in the past, with capable people provided a better chance to develop and grow. “If people are going to grow into the next level manager, they can’t have just sat in one department or job. There’s always an element of discomfort in change. But if you’re going to grow someone to become the next level supervisor or manager there has to be a time when they step out of their comfort zone, and try the next thing, and the next thing, until the gap between leadership levels is bridged. We have a Grow programme, which is all about developing our people. It’s about everyone from senior leadership, right through to supervisors and team leaders; improving their capabilities and giving them the education and tools needed to do their job. That has been a big change for many in the Finegand leadership team.” Silvio cites COVID as a shining example where the Finegand team did extremely well with at times up to 50% of its management or supervisory team absent. “As we went through the COVID wave, that care for the site, and the ability for people to multi-skill got us through a very challenging period. People were willingly taking on all kinds of tasks outside of their normal job scope, and they had the capability to do so. We supported each other, and even people who were sick with COVID and working from home were on the phone to people in their teams to keep the place going. If we had the wrong team, at Finegand at that time, it would have been very difficult, and it was that shift in culture that made the difference.” At the same time, Silver Fern Farms Central HR team were providing bottom up support to the sites by delivering training programs and course work to give all leaders the training they needed to shift the culture, be collaborative leaders and build strong teams. “In the early days we saw some people struggle with the program and on rare occasions some drop out, but this eventually corrected itself. This year we started to hit our sweet spot, training and developing the right people and getting the desired result. For new people coming into the business, the focus on quality leadership and driving cultural change has opened up career opportunities. We’re constantly looking at our existing staff, and those who join us, for leadership qualities that can be further developed. If you have leadership ability, ambition and you’re prepared to learn, this business is prepared to invest in you.” Silvio stresses that being equitable in how people have been placed in roles was very important in reinforcing Finegand’s value set. It was made very clear from the start that if there was a leadership role of significance going, anyone could put their hat in the ring but it would be advertised externally as well, with the best and strongest candidate in terms of capability and experience getting the role. “Because we were just beginning to roll out leadership training and developing our people, many roles initially went to external candidates. We encouraged internal staff to persevere with their development, to step up when the opportunity arose, and attend courses provided by the business. We believed that sooner or later this situation would naturally correct. We’re now starting to see our internal people be successful for those roles against external candidates, and that means we’re starting to get it right as a business.” Excellence in leadership, quality teamwork and building capability to support contemporary systems and processes must all come together to create sustainable change for the future, and that is something that is recognised by Silver Fern Farms. PROUD TO SUPPORT SILVER FERN FARMS Proud to support Silver Fern Farms Finegand OTAGO 165 Dukes Road, Mosgiel, Dunedin. Ph 03 489 3267 Graham Gillespie Ph: 021 323 595 Craig Capstick Ph: 0274 323 594 INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS TO IMPROVE PLANT PERFORMANCE • Fabrication • Machining • Maintenance • Certified Welding • Design • Mobile Welding/Onsite Repairs • Pressing/Cutting/Rolling • Contract Labour Hire 26 Orari St, Dunedin 021 042 2300 or 03 456 4283 Proud to design & manufacture conveyors for Silver Fern Farms Your one-stop engineering workshop