GROWING FUTURE LEADERS - Delta team members scaling new heights to develop skills
A unique program has been developed within the Delta Agribusiness network to create opportunities for team members to heighten their leadership skills.
Initially established five years ago, after Delta Ag’s John Fisher identified the opportunity for employees to diversify their skills and to connect with key managers across the network, 19 participants have now completed the 12-month Grow program, and a further seven team members have been undertaking the course this year.
Delta Ag’s Group Human Resources Manager, Rebecca Milliken has developed the content of the program and facilitates workshops and events. She says the course offers the opportunity for participants to undertake workshops in learning key strategies such as negotiation skills, public speaking, financial literacy and profitability, and creative marketing.
“We have sessions on key business strategies, developing leadership skills and personal coaching in conflict resolution and emotional intelligence,” Rebecca says.
“There have also been different learning situations as well, including having participants hiking and abseiling, to also build on their ability to work in a team environment. “People are at the core of the Delta culture and values, and as part of our strategic plan it has been important to identify opportunities to invest back into our team members and offer further training opportunities.”
The program has evolved since its inception, with Rebecca also including more complex and targeted workshops based on insights she gained from industry experts and external facilitators as part of her own participation in AgriFutures Australia’s Australian Rural Leadership Program.
Delta Ag Lockhart Branch Manager Daniel Fisher completed the program in its first year and says it gave insights into the management of the Delta network and access to other areas within the company.
“There were sections of the program focusing on sales and marketing, another one on mergers and acquisitions, and another focus on accounting and finance,” Daniel says.
“The program gave a good insight into the expanse of Delta Ag and an understanding of the different branches and roles of others within the network, which has also then helped on a day-to-day basis in further understanding the processes and timeframes.”
Daniel first started working in a merchandise sales role with Delta Ag in Young and Harden in 2006, and then went on to have roles at the Temora and Coolamon branches, before he took up his post at Lockhart almost two years ago.
Originally from a farming family at Stockinbingal, Daniel knew he was destined to be involved in agriculture in some way and he says being a part of the Delta group for almost 15 years has given him extensive industry experience.
“I am really fortunate to have worked in management roles at more than one branch. Now being based at Lockhart, I have been able to change and set new goals and set new sales targets. With the different farming properties within the areas too, there has been the opportunity to work across a number of agricultural industry areas – from large grain holdings to graziers, to hobby farmers and town trade opportunities.”
Participants of varying ages have applied to complete the program from various locations within the Delta network and have been employed in different roles including branch managers, agronomists, livestock sales agents and those working in merchandise sales positions.
“I think gaining self-awareness is important in a team environment and having exposure to other senior leaders as they go through the program has meant there are various benefits to it. There is also the potential that through having a team with these leadership skills that it will enable further succession planning possibilities within the management structure in the future,” Rebecca says.