Safer Skills, Safer People at HEB Construction

Awards - HEB Group

Finalist – Diversity Works Awards

Being a finalist in the Skills Highway category at this year’s Diversity Works Awards is a source of huge pride for HEB Construction and its workplace communication programme, ‘Safer People.’

It’s been an innovative ride for the construction infrastructure company. It first engaged us as its workplace literacy and numeracy provider in 2019 to plan and roll out a top-notch foundation skills programme to its teams nationwide.

“Being involved in the Diversity Awards supports all the work that we are doing in diversity and inclusion across HEB, says Learning and Development Manager Lesley Southwick. “Being a finalist in this category in particular, provides an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of our workforce. It also highlights the opportunity that comes out of increasing literacy and numeracy in the workforce.”

As a result of the programme, teamwork and communication amongst staff members increased phenomenally, observes Lesley. At the heart of it was a desire to improve health and safety.

“Better comprehension of health and safety documents makes the workplace safer for all employees,” says Lesley.

A catalyst for innovation

When HEB employees engaged with the programme, they didn’t know where the possibilities would take them. This includes one Christchurch based team whose project on wellbeing at work is now a finalist at the 2020 Safeguard New Zealand Health and Safety Awards.  This wellbeing initiative had huge personal meaning for the guys and is now in the process of being adopted by HEB countrywide.  W4W (Wellbeing for Work) promotes checking on yourself and checking on your mates.

“It’s a real grassroots innovation that promotes the wellbeing of HEB employees,” says Holly Patterson, Director at Upskills. “Workplace literacy programmes are often the catalyst to nurture the innovation that sits inside all levels of an organisation.”

Our Programme Coordinator on the HEB project was Janeke Fourie. She adds that the support of managers in rolling out the programme and their willingness to hear and act on innovation ideas, has amplified the impact of Safer People.

“The rise in ability and confidence level of some of the learners have just skyrocketed. It has been great to see them go from strength to strength on this learning journey by fully embracing it and giving it their all,” says Janeke.

Awards - HEB GroupFind out more

Watch the video case study of the HEB project

Read about HEB’s success in 2019  Skills Highway Innovation Award (Highly Commended)

Read an HEB learning journey – Wilfred Cross

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