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CCHL preparing for future of work with new workforce platform Hive

Published in NZ Management Magazine





Christchurch City Holdings Limited (CCHL) has rolled out its new platform to better utilise the skills of the group’s 3000-plus workforce – leveraging skills across the group, increasing employee engagement and preparing for the future of work.


A statement from the company says that Hive, developed by New Zealand company FutureWork Studio, was specifically designed to help companies better leverage the diverse capabilities that already exist within their organisation.

Using a simple, intuitive design, individual employees create their own profile on the platform to share their skills and interests, post requests for assistance and contribute to tasks across the group.


CCHL chief executive Paul Munro says the organisation recognised that it needed to think differently about the way it works and operates in a fast-evolving world, particularly as the experience of Covid-19 accelerated the pace of workforce change.

“We have an enormous range of skills and experience across CCHL Group – and part of thinking differently is redefining how we use and harness the talents we have access to, through Hive,” says Munro.


After piloting the programme in 2020, CCHL and its subsidiaries have already seen major results across 12 related entities, including the city’s major infrastructure companies, Christchurch Airport, Lyttelton Port Company, Orion Group, Enable, EcoCentral and Citycare Group.


During the pilot stage, more than 700 employees joined the platform, with 155 listings posted, including projects, tasks and development opportunities – over 70 percent of which have been resourced by people outside their own organisation.

“Since piloting Hive we’re already seeing more innovation and more flexibility and a different way of working across the CCHL group,” says Munro. “That has meant we are more agile, more flexible and more effective in the way we’re resourcing and achieving the outcomes of the whole group.”


Founded by two workforce transformation experts, Joanne Fair and Vincent Vuillard, FutureWork Studio is focused on preparing companies – and particularly groups of related or like-minded organisations – for the future of work.


“We saw that – faced with social and technological change – organisations in New Zealand and overseas were struggling to understand how to take their workforces forward,” says Fair. “At the same time, more employees are disengaged than ever before. People are wanting purpose, they are wanting meaning and they are just not finding it locked into narrow roles.”


Hive is designed to empower employees to choose to be involved in projects that they find interesting, reflect their particular skills or provide opportunities for personal development.


For CCHL, Hive is being used to not only leverage the specialist skills across the group and resource work more effectively across a wider pool of talent, but also help employees develop their capabilities and create new ways to identify and retain talent within CCHL group.


Recent projects include experimenting with virtual reality technology, seeking short-term business analyst capabilities, and collaborating on wellbeing challenges.

During the platform’s pilot phase, EcoCentral used Hive to get help in the development of it new waste sorting programme after being awarded $16.8m in Government funding to upgrade their optical and mechanical sorting machines.


EcoCentral Operations Manager Rob Wilson said the initiative was ideal in helping them scope the two-year project, without having to resort to funding external consultants.

“We’re very good at recycling and dealing with waste as a business, but large-scale project management is something we’re not particularly familiar with,” says Rob Wilson.

“We knew that skill was within the CCHL group, so we simply asked the question on the platform and were delighted with the response that came through. This has opened up an amazing network for us – every time we’ve got a question, or something we don’t know about or a project team we don’t necessarily have all the resource for, we just post it on the platform.”


The statement says that the platform has not only helped resource work projects, but also helped support CCHL Group’s focus on diversity, with a range of new networks formed across the wider organisation, including a Te Reo community and the Women in Leadership Series, which showcases leaders from within CCHL Group in pursuit of lifting inclusion and diversity across the group.

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