Fonterra has introduced a new working initiative in which employees will be able to spend up to a third of their time on projects outside their day jobs.
In what is believed to be a New Zealand-first, employees will have the opportunity to work on internal projects outside their normal role, based on their individual skills or areas of interest.
Fonterra’s ‘amp’, short for amplify, is set to change the face of employment in the co-op using a gig-economy type approach.
Chief operating officer, velocity & innovation, Judith Swales said the initiative will make the most of the variety of talent in their workforce.
“With amp, our people have the chance to up-skill and work on something completely different to their day jobs across areas where they either have a special interest or a particular skill,” Swales said.
Amp is powered by a web-based app that enables employees to build a profile and match their experience and expertise to listings of internal projects.
“As far as we know, Fonterra is the only organisation in New Zealand actively exploring this unique and innovative approach to driving employee satisfaction,” Swales said.
Amp started off as a pilot, covering projects such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, virtual bakery stores in Asia and sustainability initiatives. It is now available to all 22,000 Fonterra employees.
“Results from our pilot showed that amp not only lifts employee engagement, but it also brings in innovative ideas from more diverse groups. It has helped people develop new career paths and has opened doors,” Swales added.
Similar programmes run internationally by companies such as Google and 3M have shown to increase engagement, enhance careers and lead to new innovations. 3M’s programme resulted in top-selling products, including the Post-it note.