We hear from TIAH Board member Beverly Dixon. Bev is Group HR Director with G’s Fresh, where she leads on delivering HR for G’s and its 8,500 people in the UK, Europe, Africa and the USA.
When I think about where TIAH will be in five years’ time, I see an energetic, agile professional institute that is tapped into agriculture and horticulture’s top UK and global innovators, and at the centre of a strong network of partners.
Knowledge sharing will enable us to understand current and future labour needs and to take a forward-thinking approach to delivering accessible skills and careers advice for people in every sector.
TIAH, and the professionalism it supports, will be a key part of a productive, profitable and sustainable industry.
This exciting vision resonates with me on both a personal and a professional level. I was brought up on a smallholding and have a degree in Agriculture, while my career in HR leadership roles, both in the industry and outside it, has given me a deep understanding of the value of helping people maximise their potential.
G’s Chairman John Shropshire OBE, who introduced me to TIAH, is a longstanding supporter of developing young people in their careers and building capacity throughout the industry. While many share John’s ethos, more can be done to embed professionalism in agriculture and horticulture. TIAH is key to making this happen.
The success of any kind of business improvement programme depends on two essential elements: clarity of purpose, and the meaningful communication of that purpose to everyone involved.
TIAH’s purpose is to support professionalism and lifelong learning in agriculture and horticulture. We will be a hub of information and advice on job roles, training and career routes, which can be accessed in an informal way. We will also support employers, making it easier for them to ensure their compliance and create the right atmosphere for their people.
But our clarity of purpose also means leading by example in areas such as being member-focused; promoting equality, diversity and inclusion; and ensuring that, as a modern, innovative organisation, we remain fleet of foot to navigate the ongoing change that characterises farming and growing. There has not been an industry-wide professional institute before, so we will be an important role model.
Communication is key
Communicating TIAH’s purpose and value to partners and members may be challenging at times. We know that most people in the industry want to be the best they can be but also that their time and margins are very tight. We must show that membership of TIAH will deliver real results.
Time for change
The timing of TIAH’s development allows us to make use of the latest digital technology and networks, enabling easy access to our services and membership network.
There is a lot to do and, given the current pace of change in agricultural and horticulture, five years does not seem very far away. But by remaining focused on professionalism and successfully bringing the industry along with our ambitions, success will be well within reach.