Tuesday, 10 April 2018 14:55

Let’s talk about industry culture

Written by  Pam Tipa
Dairy Woman of the Year Loshni Manikam. Dairy Woman of the Year Loshni Manikam.

2018 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year Loshni Manikam says dairy should follow a workplace philosophy similar to Google.

The technology company's philosophy is to create the happiest, most productive workplace in the world.

Manikam says happiness comes before success.

“The first thing they focus on is happiness. They are using this kind of language in their strategies and culture. 

“There are Fortune 500 companies that spend millions of dollars a year to improve the wellbeing and happiness of their people.... These are amazingly successful companies that understand that if people are happy everything has a positive spill-on effect, especially productivity. 

“As human beings we understand that on an instinctive level.”

 When we are happy we can pay attention, focus and contribute more, Manikam says. “We are better mothers, wives, husbands, we are better bosses; we are better able to deal with the things life throws at us.” 

As a culture, dairy has not yet embraced all the key performance indicators it needs to in order to be happy. 

“Our culture has been really good; it has served us well up until this point. That focus on financial stability has driven our industry to be as successful as it has been. Now we need to add other things into that mix…

 “Once we start having these conversations, it will resonate and people will come on board because they understand this at an instinctive level.

“We just need to start the conversation; let’s talk about this, let’s put it on the table. Let’s talk about our culture and see whether it is still serving us or whether we need to make changes.” 

She hopes the Dairy Women of the Year Awards will enable her to help start a conversation with industry leaders, companies and organisations. 

“We talk about disruption and innovation in the primary industry with things like synthetic meat and milk. It is time to talk about disruption and innovation in our dairy industry culture because we have so much to gain and nothing to lose.

“I’m certain I’m not the only one who feels this way and I’m a great believer in collaboration.” 

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