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Little operators can become managers


“The opportunities they give to the little people. Little operators can become managers.” It is one reason that Roxanne Webb loves working at Fonterra Brands New Zealand (FBNZ).

When she started at FBNZ, four years ago, Roxanne was a machine operator. While doing our Good Together programme early in 2023, she was appointed as the team leader for the new fruit processing plant and is also the subject matter expert in the plant.

Roxanne explained that Fonterra Brands is a huge company, but it values its people and provides opportunities to those “without all the certificates behind them.”

In August, however, she received a certificate – the site “Legend of the Month” for all the work she has put into the plant. This strong work ethic comes from her dad, whom Roxanne describes as her biggest role model. Even when money was tight, her family was always provided for. Birthdays celebrated, “he made sure he got it done,” she says.

Roxanne carried this attitude into the Upskills programme. She engaged in everything, was at every session and credits the course with building her confidence to get the team leader role. “To be honest, the learning I got from the Upskills course stands out for me.”

Learning nuggets

When asked what has made the most difference, she said it was about learning to take the time to understand what motivates each person; rather than just telling them what to do. It was about seeing who they were and where they were coming from. Then being able to communicate well with a diverse group.

“The Upskills programme opened my eyes to different people and scenarios I will face along my journey.”

Learning to back herself and see her own strengths was something else she took away from the programme. Roxanne appreciated the wellbeing session, where the group were very vulnerable and shared more of themselves. They learned about different frameworks and how to use these to reflect on and set future goals for themselves.

”I am my own worst critic, and I can be really hard on myself. I used to take things personally and take it all home with me, but now I don’t. Now I know it’s okay not to know everything, and it’s okay not to be okay.”

When asked what her advice would be to people on their learning journeys she eloquently said,

“Say yes to everything and if it scares you, do it!”

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Upskills Ltd.

Address: 93 Church St, Onehunga, Auckland 1061
Free parking: 120 minutes, Gerrard Beeson Pl.
Phone: 09 622 3979