Case Study

Kerry Ellem

Culture and leadership – Hancock Forest Management NZ

Kerry Ellem, General Manager, Hancock Forest Management, NZ

The issue

In 2012 Hancock’s health and safety performance had plateaued. We’d already reaped most of the benefits of our previous work to improve systems and processes, and from introducing mechanisation. We realised we needed to spread our focus to two other critical areas for performance – culture and leadership.

What we did about it

The first thing we tried was a cultural transformation project to address some of the behaviour occurring onsite. Then we gave leadership training to crew foremen and managers, and the frontline Hancock staff who work with our contractors. Both were voluntary and funded by Hancock – with contractors contributing crew and foremen time in kind.


The outcome

The biggest benefits from this work have been better communication and engagement. We’re having far more frank and valuable conversations with our contractors. These benefits were confirmed by a DuPont attitudes survey in 2016, which showed a solid improvement in levels of worker engagement since 2013.

Useful links

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This case study of Forum member Hancock Forest Management NZ was produced by the Forest Industry Safety Council for its website.