Mechanised Logging (MechLog) has embarked on an ambitious training programme to take the Tasmanian-based, national forestry company from ‘Good to Great’ with the assistance of the Tasmanian Government, Rural Business Tasmania, and Good to Great Tasmania.
Speaking about the initiative, MechLog’s CEO, Ms Jillian Aylett Brown, said that since the company commenced operations in 1994 it has prioritised training and development; and that programmes such as Good to Great offer SMEs an opportunity to empower and recognise the full potential of every employee.
“We are fortunate that most of our staff have been with MechLog for many years; some from the very beginning. This is not simply good luck. Over the years, we have identified career paths for our staff and encouraged and supported them to improve their skills and to take on more responsibility. The reward is more than a better pay packet. The reward is a sense of empowerment and being valued,” Jillian said.
“MechLog has grown to a point whereby we need to look to the future. We started as a Northeast Tasmania-based company, but we have grown to have significant operations across the State and in the Green Triangle on the South Australia-Victoria border. As the company continues to grow, we need our staff to be able to grow with us and to be trained and ready for the challenges ahead. Good to Great is the start of that process,” she added.
“The responsibilities that our team leaders take on to lead their field crews is crucial to MechLog’s success as a forestry company. As directors of the company, we value their work and commitment. We view it as our responsibility to assist every employee who is interested in building their skills as part of the MechLog team to have the opportunity to do so.
“MechLog has accessed a $15,000 grant through the Tasmanian Government’s $500,000 Forest Contractors Resilience programme, and delivered by Rural Business Tasmania, which we will use to participate in the Good to Great Leadership programme.
“Good to Great is delivered by Tasmanian leadership educator, Mr Jon ‘Fletch’ Fletcher, who will assist MechLog to recognise and develop our leadership group. We are confident that by understanding our staff and their individual learning styles, as well as understanding the team dynamics within our 38 employees, we can identify leadership candidates and build even better teams.
The Minister for Primary Industries and Water, the Hon. Guy Barnett, said that the Tasmanian Government is the strongest supporter of the forestry sector and that it is committed to protecting and building the industry as the economy recovers after COVID 19.
“COVID-19 has created significant challenges for many industries, including forestry, and on July 15 I met with industry representatives to discuss these issues in a Forestry Roundtable,” Minister Barnett said.
“We are pleased to announce that the Forestry Contractor Resilience Program will be extended from July 31, 2020 to January 29, 2021 to further support Tasmanian forestry contractors,” he added.
“Tasmania’s forestry contractors can apply under the $500,000 Forestry Contractor Resilience Program for funding to improve their business practices, which is being delivered through Rural Business Tasmania.
“Under the program, Tasmanian forestry harvest and haulage contractors have the opportunity to work with specialists in business and financial management to identify future opportunities and build stability and resilience into their operations.
“Eligible applicants will receive five hours of professional business coaching and may also be eligible for up to $15,000 to deliver agreed business improvements,” Minister Barnett said.
Mr Jon Fletcher said that the Good to Great Leadership programme is open to core or emerging leaders from various companies, or leaders within the one company, who come together to form a leaders cluster.
“The Good to Great Leaders programme is a comprehensive five-days over five-months programme, which allows the participants to share real workplace experiences and situations, creating an active learning environment with open conversations and honest peer feedback,” Mr Fletcher said.
“The goal of the programme is to support the leaders through facilitation. They explore what strong trust-based relationships can look like and the benefits of strengthened relationships with their colleagues that they can then apply in their own workplace.
“Everything we do is focused on challenging teams to think differently. To do less good work and to do more great work. To not settle for being a good team but to aspire to be a great team. Few teams ever choose to achieve their potential, being good is simply easier than being great.
“The Good to Great Leaders programme challenges teams to cross the line and set themselves apart from the others in their field. It drills down into their culture, creating an environment that encourages open honest reviews of performance.
“During the Good to Great programme, we action and review participants’ leadership performance, and the non-negotiable behaviours, which we believe are required to accelerate the change that can transform an organisation, such as MechLog, or team from being good to great,” Mr Fletcher said.
Ms Jillian Aylett Brown said that while Tasmania’s forestry sector has changed significantly over the last 40 years, finding ways to improve the industry is as much a necessity as it is a responsibility. She is encouraging all Tasmania’s forestry contractors to apply for funding to improve their business practices under the $500,000 Forestry Contractor Resilience Program through Rural Business Tasmania.
“We highly recommend that forestry contractors take advantage of this opportunity. The programme has helped MechLog immensely by assisting us to provide a career pathway, which is fully supported by training and personal development. We believe in the potential of all of our staff members and we will be using this programme as the training standard within MechLog. The $15,000 grant from the Tasmanian Government has enabled MechLog to fill this skill gap by developing a programme to build the skills of each team leader.
“This is a great initiative by the Tasmanian Government and a timely programme. It is perfect for the forestry sector. Under the programme, Tasmanian forestry harvest and haulage contractors have the opportunity to work with specialists in business and financial management to identify future opportunities, and build stability and resilience into their operations,” Jillian said.
The Programme guidelines and application form are available from Rural Business Tasmania at www.ruralbusinesstasmania.org.au or by contacting Mr Stephen Hansen on 1300 883 276.