Restructure could cost LIC jobs

NARELLE HENSON
Last updated 05:00 12/04/2014

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Fifty-eight people will have to re-apply for their jobs after LIC confirmed it would move ahead with a major restructure.

The genetics co-operative will also be adding 78 new jobs to its team, meaning a net gain in staffing levels of 20.

Chief executive Wayne McNee spoke to staff about the changes this week and said they were "still absorbing it".

"Clearly, some people don't like going through change and they're anxious about what it means for them individually," he said.

"Overall staff are positive about the new strategy."

LIC's new strategy will see the co-operative focus on increasing growth, particularly internationally, and on providing more tailored farming solutions.

McNee has said feedback from staff and farmers suggested the organisation had been too headquarters-heavy.

"Some of the feedback that we got from our own staff and also some farmers was that we weren't doing a good enough job to adapting what we've got to what they need.

"Around the country different farmers, different farming systems, have different needs, so we need to be able to adapt our offering to suit."

The new strategy will see eight roles added in the South Island, and 12 in the North. Five territory managers will be hired to beef up LIC's farmer focus, and numbers will be added to the marketing and sales teams.

Another area of focus would be emerging markets "both internationally and domestically".

"That would also mean looking at possible acquisitions that fit within the new focus," said McNee.

He was hoping to have the changes in place by June.

"We'll be going through the process internally which will take a little bit longer, but we'll put the strategy in place anyway and appoint acting people if we need to."

McNee reiterated that the changes were about "putting the farmer at the centre of the business".

He said no redundancies had been confirmed at this stage. However, it was possible that at the end of the re-application process some people may not get jobs.

Already four general manager positions had been advertised externally.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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