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Business Hawke's Bay is benchmark for High Performance Work

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Kate de Lautour


Hawke’s Bay is being used as an example to other regions of how the HPWI (High Performance Work Initiative) can produce positive results for businesses.


The scheme, designed to lift the productivity of local businesses, has this year included Hawke’s Bay manufacturing and engineering firms and will be extended to include food and beverage businesses in 2013.


Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment senior adviser Grant Duffy said the results achieved by the individual firms had been impressive.


“It’s a well performing project, both in terms of results for the firms and the way it has been coordinated by Business Hawke’s Bay.


 Mr Duffy said he was using the Business Hawke’s Bay model as an example to other regions of how HPWI can work successfully.


“I am encouraging other regional economic development leaders to come and visit Hawke’s Bay to see firsthand the results that are being achieved.”


A Hastings engineering firm has invested 400k in new machinery and hired five new staff  while being a part of the scheme.


Business improvement specialist Glenn Manahi said HPWI had enabled the firm’s senior management to free up time to focus on business development.


“This has come about by implementing some very simple process adjustments to significantly reduce the extra hours the owner has had to commit to administration and instead, he has been able to focus on development.”


Mr Manahi said all businesses dealt with daily constraints that consistently impacted on their ability to deliver a quality product and service to their customer.


“Unfortunately the majority of these constraints go unnoticed and unchallenged by owners, managers and teams resulting in an end of month disappointment.


“Owners and managers are therefore constantly under pressure to invent new ways to motivate the team for the following month.


“Our businesses have become experts in reacting, firefighting and reworking which all takes valuable time and it then becomes extremely difficult for teams to see a clear path forward.”  


Mr Manahi said  HPWI aimed to help participating firms overcome these issues by systematically streamlining internal systems, to improve performance .


“Every business involved in the 2012 HPWI project has made considerable improvements, each in their own way, some more focused on process and procedures and others more focused on internal organisation, attitudes and behaviours.


“The improvements achieved have most certainly been beyond their original expectation,” Mr Manahi said.


Grant Duffy said the Government was focused on increasing workplace performance.


“In New Zealand we have a serious sustained problem around workplace performance and adding value to staff.”


“The Government is interested in improving the performance of firms and encouraging  smarter ways to do business, in a sustainable manner, by engaging staff.”


Anyone wishing to register interest for the 2013 HPWI should contact Business Hawke’s Bay at [email protected] or Craig Cameron at the Hastings District Council [email protected]