With almost full employment in NZ, and the borders still effectively closed, we are talking to businesses every day that are dealing with the reality of a labour shortage. While we’re seeing this across many industries, it’s particularly true in the primary sector, and the flow on effect to many other businesses in regional NZ and throughout the country.
Our GM Toni has recently been involved in an MPI ‘task force’ looking at ways of attracting more Kiwis into the primary industries. The reality is, even with very bright minds from around the country working with passion and energy, there was no silver bullet. If the primary sector and business in general in NZ is to thrive we need to find good quality labour; to do this we need to start getting creative. Revised systems and processes, different job design and different management practices can help us access new labour markets and get good employees into our businesses.
So what are these opportunities…they are limited by our imaginations and the effort we want to put in to making them real…how about:
- Shift-work (on a dairy farm this could be two-milking shifts with full time staff taking the other roles on farm) - could you adapt this to your business?
- Across industry job sharing (we do this at the moment in an informal way two of our team members working for us more in our busy season, and in their own businesses - one farming and one building - when we're not as busy). Are there other similar businesses that you could work together with to share resources?
- Flexible working arrangements (work when you want set a month in advance with the employer backing themselves to fill any gaps)
- Look for a student….every year loads of Y12 & 13 students leave school and every year it gets harder for them to find work….80% of jobs found by these young people are through friends and family…can you be the person that gives them a chance? What would you need to do to make a job in your business attractive to them?
What else? We’d love to hear your stories! And remember, any new solution is going to require you to think differently, change some things and invest your time and energy to make it work….we think the wins will be worth it.