Blue Hills Honey Tasmania
About Blue Hills Honey
Blue Hills Honey is an international success story. Located in the far north west hinterland of Tasmania in a small town called Mawbanna, it produces award winning honey. It has 10 permanent employees and another 10 during harvest season. Many of them do not have high level literacy and numeracy skills or high levels of education.
A consistently high standard of product and customer service is the hallmark of the company.
Reasons for the project
Written procedures are essential to maintaining quality and improving efficiency across the organisation. The availability of quality induction resources is critical to the ongoing operations of Blue Hills Honey. They provide both new and existing employees with access to safety information so:
- workplace health and safety risks are controlled
- safety compliance obligations are met
- accidents and injuries are reduced.
- Documented processes are also required for manufacturing business in the food sector to meet regulatory requirements. Because of employees’ literacy levels, procedures needed to be written in plain English.
The company wants employees to be competent in writing induction resources and procedures.
- Improved health and safety and quality compliance on the work site
- Promoted employee ownership of new document management systems and the implementation of standard operating procedures
- The collaborative approach of this project and the integration with workplace needs helped embed the program in Blue Hills Honey and promote acceptance and participation
- The project was able to foster more open and effective communication between employees working in different areas to promote a more collaborative culture and mutual understanding of work issues and demands
- The 26TEN grant enhanced the career prospects of participants and supported organisational performance in productivity, quality, health and safety, food safety and training.
- Building the capabilities and skills of Blue Hills Honey workers means the changes made in the project will exist beyond the life of this project, enabling Blue Hills Honey to meet growing needs into the future.
TasTAFE, a registered training organisation, worked in partnership with Blue Hills Honey, building employees language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) skills and understanding of manufacturing processes. There were two phases to this project:
- analysing workplace tasks to identify the number and types of procedures required, reviewing existing induction materials and procedures and documentation and developing plain English templates, and
- literacy and numeracy skills assessments, training one-to-one and in small groups in procedural writing, ICT skills and plain English writing.
The company’s permanent employees made a strong contribution such as:
- ensuring access to technical experts for the development of workplace documentation
- ensuring access to employees to facilitate support provision
- planning and scheduling of initial assessments, interview times and program delivery
- providing constant feedback and review of progress.
This has created a strong engagement and sense of ownership over the procedures developed.