Day One – Wednesday 14 September
11.00am to 12.30pm
F2 Corporate Values
A practical session on how Toll NZ's HR Team have moved the focus of the HR function from reactive and operational to a strategic business partner in an organisation that was on the brink of bankruptcy and where HR was not valued.
During this session, you will get to hear first hand the story of how Toll NZ's HR Team have survived and rejuvenated and are now putting the wheels back on the wagon.
Today, we can talk about Tranz Rail (as it was called) and Toll NZ (as we are called today) as two different businesses as, under Toll's direction, that is what they are. Tranz Rail was an environment with a history that stemmed back to the late 1800s. An ex–government department privatised in the early 1990s, was an organisation attempting to overcome effects resulting from a high degree of change to ownership, structure and leadership that lasted for more than a decade.
The leadership team prior to Toll, came in to the business in 2001 bringing a greater commercial focus to the business. Under this team, structural changes resulted in the establishment of distinct stand–alone businesses – the view was to get each operating successfully as a stand–alone business and then look to potentially sell off individually. Much emphasis during this period was on rationalisation of costs and resources resulting in a major reduction of investment back in to the business. This approach impacted significantly on our relationship with our customers, the culture of the organisation and the perception of the public to the point where Tranz Rail's doors were almost closed.
In this environment, the role of the HR team was considerably different to how we operate today. Below is a brief summary highlighting how the role of HR has moved from being operational and reactive to one that is aligned to and supports the business strategically.
Prior to 2001:
Tranz Rail 2001 onwards:
Prior to 2001
Tranz Rail 2001 onwards
Belinda Bell, HR Manager – People Planning & Retention: I completed my undergraduate degree in Commercial Law and Management at Victoria University in Wellington. I am currently half–way through a post graduate diploma in business administration with a Human Resource endorsement through Massey University.
I am now in my 6th year as an HR professional. After completing my undergraduate studies, I commenced my HR career with Toll NZ (Tranz Rail) at the time in the capacity of HR Advisor, Generalist where I spent 14 months. I left here and spent 9 months on a fixed term with NZ Post as an HR Advisor specialising in International HR. Both of these roles were in Wellington. Returning to Toll NZ just over 3 years ago based in Auckland as an HR Advisor/Development Consultant I progressed my way through to where I am today as HR Manager, People Planning and Retention.
My expertise today encompasses extensive knowledge across a wide range of employment relations issues eventuating from a heavily industrialised work environment going through a major cultural shift. Lately, I have become more specialised focussing on strategies around attraction and retention.
Sian Oliver, HR Manager– Learning & Development: I have gained a Masters with first class honours in Social Sciences– Industrial Psychology. I am currently completing a course in Neuro Linguistic Course and am also a certified Business Excellence Evaluator.
I have been working in the Human Resource profession for five years. Eighteen months of those were spent at UnitedNetworks in the area of Organisational Development. I have spent the last three and a half years with Toll NZ (formally Tranz Rail). I have held two positions being an OD Specialist and more recently the Learning and Development Manager.
A key focus of my role is to define and create a performance culture whereby individual performance is measured and opportunities given for continuous learning. Furthermore, the focus is on building the capability of Toll NZ's workforce to deliver on the strategic direction of the organisation.