September 2009 Training brings national accolade to Tenon

Tenon Manufacturing Ltd was named the Wood Manufacturing Training Company of the Year 2009, at the National Training Awards.

Judges said Tenon could credit its longevity to its commitment to its staff and realisation that having a highly motivated, trained and skilled workforce contributed to business success.

Gary Newland, HR manager of Tenon Manufacturing, told judges the company's commitment to training was a key to surviving a volatile international financial environment.

"Just surviving in that environment means we have got to have a skilled and productive workforce, that we can consistently provide products with a high-quality and reliable delivery and, at the same time, continue to develop innovative and new products.

"We can only do that by having a highly motivated, trained and skilled workforce."

He said every employee in the company had to have training development plan, set out at the beginning of each year. While a lot of the training was formal, a lot of it was also on the job, with employees encouraged to help one another.

"It is an accepted part of the job to train fellow workers, and we've got some more formalised buddy systems for new employees or particular new technology."

As well as encouraging FITEC qualifications, the company also provided training in literacy and numeracy, brought in its KiwiSaver provider for on-site briefings, sent staff on short courses in leadership, finance and project management and to the local polytech for business-related computer training.

Being committed to training had added skills to the company, he told judges. "And we don't resist training on the grounds that other employers might benefit from it. We train people for themselves, for their life skills, for general as well as the necessity of making the business operate."

Training brings national accolade to Tenon