Business Digest: Work 36 hours paid for 40 in wellness initiative
Do you have business news? Email [email protected] or [email protected] Photo / Provided.
Work 36 hours paid for 40 in wellness initiative
Stratum Consultants reduced its working week by closing its offices at 12pm every Friday but paying staff for a 40-hour week.
CEO Mel Lewis said the Bay Land Development and Land Use Consultancy Firms had always been a people-centred organisation, but it was particularly proud to lead the way with a truly reduced working week for its people.
Because Stratum believes that a level of flexibility is now expected in any workplace, and this approach does not always support the creation of the desired “good” workplace, Stratum tested a reduction in working hours with its employees working 36 hours.
The six-month trial was successful, and the change has now been implemented, Lewis said.
“The benefits of a ‘good’ workplace are widely known, with improvements in retention, productivity and engagement.”
Mel Lewis, CEO of Stratum Consultants. Photo / Provided
There have also been benefits from a recruitment perspective with increases in applications for vacancies.
”We are regularly contacted about possible roles in the future.”
Lewis said he had not seen a direct correlation in profitability, and ”our customers have not been affected either, which is pleasing”.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
“The initiative does have a cost to the business, but the directors see our reduced working week as an investment in the health and well-being of our people and their families, supporting better long-term results in an increasingly competitive market.”
Stratum Consultants has a strong presence in the Bay of Plenty and the central North Island with approximately 50 team members based throughout Tauranga, Rotorua and Te Puke offices. Staff consists of civil engineers, structural engineers, geotechnical engineers, resource management planners, surveyors, project managers and administrators.
Do you want a job? Kiwi industry is hiring
Jobseekers can get a taste of what it’s like to work in the kiwifruit industry next month at a hiring day that will use virtual reality (VR) technology to bring the vacancies to life.
Western Bay of Plenty seasonal kiwifruit employers have joined forces with the Ministry of Social Development and are keen to meet job seekers.
They wanted to promote upcoming vacancies and talk about what working in the industry entails.
Jobs on offer include seasonal warehouse and orchard roles as well as more permanent career opportunities.
Ministry of Social Development regional commissioner Mike Bryant said anyone curious about what goes into picking and pruning kiwis can strap on a headset and see what it’s like to work in a kiwi orchard through virtual reality.
In addition to seasonal events, VR users can explore a variety of job opportunities and career paths.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Virtual reality was an innovative and interactive way to connect job seekers with local employers and give people a taste of work in various industries by simulating real-world tasks.
“We are committed to connecting people with jobs and our hope is that participants will walk away with a job,” Bryant said.
“There are a lot of jobs and it’s free, so jump down and check it out.”
The event was at the Greerton Community Hall, 1257 Cameron Rd on Thursday, March 2, from 10am to 1pm.
Scholarship changes life as university beckons
Receiving a Bay of Plenty Education Trust scholarship changed Zaide Farrell’s life path.
Farrell, who recently graduated from Katikati College, had wanted to study at university for a long time but didn’t think he could afford it.
“I wanted to go to university to pursue these big thoughts. “I thought the opportunity would be taken away from me given my economic situation. But the scholarship made it all possible.”
Farrell was one of 15 Western Bay of Plenty students to receive the BOP Education Trust’s Science, Technology and Emerging Industries Scholarship in the latest annual round.
The $6000 scholarship would be paid in installments during his degree at the University of Victoria in Wellington.
Farrell had a desire to study philosophy and physics. He wants to “move the boundary between science and the human condition”.
All being well, the Trust has committed to giving $126,000 from its coffers in this latest grant round – there are also six Eastern BOP recipients.
Receiving a Bay of Plenty Education Trust scholarship changed Zaide Farrell’s (centre) life path. Photo / Provided
Nick Earl, chairman of the BOP Education Trust, said the number of recipients who have received the scholarship over the years now stands at 366.
The scholarship value has increased over time, with the total gift amount now pushing the $2 million mark. A total of $1,961,750 was donated.
This year’s other Western Bay of Plenty recipients were: Binew Illangamudalige and Kel Iggulden both from Tauranga Boys’ College, Charlie Colquhoun and Nadia Harmine both from Otumoetai College, Eli Samuels from Te Wharekura O Mauao, Emilie Arthur and Tegan Sloan both from Mt Maunganui College, Hannah Mollier from Te Puke High School, Hunter Ririnui and Kennedy de Bono both from Tauranga Girls College, Henry Ahearn from Bethlehem College, Rachel Shirley from Aquinas College, and Ruby Hugglestone and Jessica Rolleston both from Papamoa College.
The scholarship winners are determined by the individual colleges / high schools, and colleges with more than 1000 students are eligible for two scholarships.
The BOP Education Trust also supports the Western BOP InStep program and its equivalent – ToiEDA – in Whakatane. The board has a Future Leaders Program and in recent years has launched a supplementary grant initiative aimed at promoting education within the coastal Bay of Plenty. The trust is currently accepting applications for its supplementary grants. These can be submitted to the trust by email to [email protected] until March 31.
Waihī company wins excellence award
Taharoto Road Creative, a leading marketing company based in Waihī, has been awarded the prestigious Business Excellence Award in International Marketing 2023. The award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of international marketing, was presented this week, with the formal presentation which took place in April.
It was selected for the award in recognition of its exceptional performance in delivering innovative and effective marketing solutions to clients across the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington and Auckland regions.
Matt Nicholson, managing director of Taharoto Road Creative, said the company was excited and honoured.
“This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team, who have worked tirelessly to bring innovative marketing solutions to our clients. We are proud to be recognized as one of the top marketing companies in the world. A great achievement for a small business in a small regional town.”
The company originally started as a side project in a spare bedroom.
The Award for Business Excellence in International Marketing 2023 was judged by Acquisition International’s expert research panel, recognizing the outstanding achievements of marketing professionals and companies around the world and started seven years ago.
Partnership provides life-saving training to wind turbine industry
A partnership between Tauranga company Vertical Horizonz (VHNZ) and Meridian Energy is delivering life-saving emergency response training to the Meridian workforce in a bid to reduce serious workplace injuries.
The workplace health and safety training provider’s partnership and collaboration with Meridian Energy is tailoring emergency training for some of New Zealand’s most high-risk workforce.
VHNZ chief operating officer Marcus Bathan said the partnership between the two organizations reflected a deep, mutual commitment to the safety of its people.
“Our company was founded to empower individuals, organizations and industries. We want all New Zealanders to have access to the tools they need to survive and thrive in their industry of choice. We play our part in this by delivering real training that saves lives.
“Our values are very much aligned with Meridian’s, and this has allowed us to work together to significantly upgrade their workforce with a hands-on, targeted training regime, which includes real-time scenarios that put their learnings to the test.”
Meridian Energy business partner and lead health and safety coordinator Bobby Ball said Meridian needed quality training that was tailored and fit for purpose.
Meridian has identified targeted training as one of our top critical risk controls and VHNZ has proven it can deliver quality training that can really make a difference in a real emergency, he said.
Vertical Horizonz (VHNZ) COO Marcus Bathan. Photo / Provided
“Through this training, we have a strong focus on the unique set of problems that a wind farm and a wind turbine present. These problems range from limited access, extreme weather conditions, limited access to medical assistance, limited rescue team members and altitude risk to name a few.
“Accidents happen. And when it happens in the workplace and involves high-risk work, we need to have the best training to ensure our people can navigate a serious accident without causing further harm.”
Apprentice, Etienne Mostert, said the training received and the final day in the field to practice the skills in a real situation was invaluable.
“I am much more confident in my ability to respond to a serious accident after our training scenario. You never know how you will act in such a situation – but now I feel that I was able to not only cope with the stress, but also be an effective team member by providing life-saving help to someone in need.”