“Fosters strive to do more than just enable employees to pay their bills, they create an environment where people actively want to be part of the workplace community.”

June 2021

Foster’s investment in leadership is all about a better future

Leadership is recognised, encouraged and celebrated at the Foster Group; strong leaders being key to the Foster 100-year vision for a sustainable and resilient business. The group is well invested in leadership training, currently rolling out a three-tier leadership programme in collaboration with Wintec. They are also foundation sponsors of the Community and Enterprise Leadership Foundation (CELF) enabling 6 senior leaders from Fosters and 6 Waikato community leaders to grow their leadership capability.

Founded in 2019, Foster’s Leadership Programme has been modelled on the Fosters values and leadership culture – teaching future leaders ‘the Foster way’ and providing them with practical management tools and a pathway to leadership.

“The theory behind this initiative is to grow and develop future leaders in all levels of our business, forming a positive connection between our senior leaders and those who are on the leadership ladder,” says Foster COO Nigel Sun. “In essence, we’re wanting to ensure a total alliance around what leadership means and looks like.”

The group recently celebrated the graduation of nine leaders from their inaugural Intermediate Leadership Programme. Intermediate graduates have been in leadership roles for a minimum of four years and represent different parts of the business, including Foster Construction, Foster Maintain, site managers and quantity surveying. Two of this group were from the Bay of Plenty and the rest from the Waikato.

Foster’s Environmental, Health, Safety and Regulatory Advisor Jade Thomas was rapt at being selected for the leadership pathway. “Selection means that management holds you in high regard and that meant a lot to me,” says Jade. “Also, Nigel knows I have aspirations to lead, and this supports me in that journey.”

She adds that the course was challenging but highly beneficial. “I find myself using the tools in my daily work. I deal with some difficult situations, and it’s been so helpful to adopt tactical ways to have the difficult conversations.”

Fosters CFO Lee Patchett reflects on his experience having completed CELF’s Elevate Leadership Programme in conjunction with the University of Waikato. The programme was specifically ‘designed for regional impact’ – harnessing partnerships, nurturing diversity and inclusion and increasing regional prosperity – CELF works with local leaders to ‘reimagine a stronger Waikato’.

“With CELF, you are reminded of the need to lead yourself, that is understanding your own character and how to apply your values, in order to lead others,” says Lee. “It’s also an excellent opportunity to connect with other Waikato business and community leaders.”

Interested in becoming part of the Foster team? Click below to see our vacancies.