Case Study: Emerald Foods Ltd
Emerald Foods Ltd
Adding benefits every day
With a busy, growing business, Emerald Foods Ltd decided they needed to make sure their staff had the skills and confidence to grow with them.
After looking for a course that would offer what their people needed, the company asked Aspire2 Business to help teach literacy and numeracy skills.
Emerald Foods produce premium ice-cream products, sold both here and overseas. Its busy East Tamaki plant in Auckland has more than 100 staff working across day and night shifts.
Operations Manager Gavin Witinitara says they needed to ensure that staff understood and followed health and safety policies and processes, as well as the documentation they were required to complete. This is why they contacted Aspire2 Business for help..
“As a business we wanted to see our staff up-skilled so they could add value,” he says.
“But equally to make sure that processes were followed correctly, and understood, for their sake, the businesses and for auditing purposes.”
Gavin looked at other courses, but Aspire2 Business training methods best met Emerald Foods’ needs.
Gavin says that with a multi-cultural workforce, he appreciated that Aspire2 Business first assessed staff individually. This helped them understand their culture and levels of literacy and numeracy before beginning training sessions – particularly important because many of the staff who’ve been in these courses have English as a second language. He says it was ‘reassuring’ that the trainers talked to the staff and the senior leadership team about their needs before starting.
Gavin liked Aspire2 Business's targeted training approach and the use of role-play as a way of teaching. He says it was at the right level for the staff and matched both the needs of the staff and the business. Gavin received great feedback from staff about the trainers and their teaching style.
“Learning through role-play is a great way for the staff to feel comfortable and engaged in the training. It’s not like being in a classroom setting, instead staff are more involved and can see the relevance between what they’re learning and their job.”
Gavin made sure that Aspire2 Business had all the forms used by the business every day, so they could work through them with staff.
He said it was really important that staff understand the documentation they need to fill out and why it needed to be accurate, especially from a health and safety point of view.
“There can be a big impact on the business if things aren’t completed correctly.”
As staff gained confidence throughout the course, it became apparent that not all staff understood the company’s policies and their requirements. The course, he said, helped change that – Gavin said it empowered their people and gave them the confidence to speak up and say when they don’t understand something.
“As a result we’ve had a significant decrease in documentation errors.”
Since 2015 Emerald Foods has put more than 45 staff through Aspire2 Business 40-week course. While it is a big commitment for the company, Gavin says the rewards have been plentiful.
“Staff are more engaged and more likely to approach me or their supervisor with an idea because they can now clearly communicate and explain their thoughts. This really adds value to our business.”
He adds that staff also use their new knowledge to interact with other workers and even with their families at home.
“By doing this course our staff are more confident communicators and it’s brought them closer together with their workmates and, I’d suspect, with their families.”
As a final reflection, Gavin adds that thanks to the training, staff are more engaged overall and see more opportunities to advance in their careers.