NZ Horticulture is facing unprecedented labor shortages. Growers' ability to attract staff, train, and retain them is the new competitive advantage. That means growers need managers with the right soft skills to keep people engaged and productive.

The Breakthrough has created a guide to help people develop training strategies based on the three key solutions for horticulture:

  • Develop the operational managers: they are the visible face of the culture
  • Focus on the essentials of management first
  • Training has to cater to the seasonal nature of horticulture. It has to make low demands on peoples’ work and personal time, but have a high impact at all levels of the organization

The guide is written by Dr. Mike Ashby, an expert in management training and a former EastPack director, and Heather Burton, a former GM HR at EastPack and now working with The Breakthrough Co at Apata and Scion. She has also undertaken industry work for NZKGI and HortNZ.

"The critical thing for horticulture and seasonal industries is to follow the arc of the year. In the off-season, learning and development can follow a regular cycle and we can take more time to work through the content, but this has to be balanced by the fact that, in the absence of production activities, their ability to learn through practice is limited. The exciting opportunity is the high season. Learning can be continued right through the year, with the learning formats varying to adapt to the demands of the seasons."

The full guide is here and both Mike and Heather are available for interviews.

For more information:
The Breakthrough