At Gladfield we have a great team of over twenty including part-time full time and contracted staff.
We have come a long way in 15 years when it was only Gabi and I bagging up last minute orders until 9:00 o’clock on a Friday night with the kids in the cot next to us out on the factory floor. No wonder the kids have developed a keen taste for malt, every time they started crying, we would throw them a handful of malt to chew on, it seemed to work even if it did make for an interesting nappy! You couldn’t say they didn’t get enough fibre in their diet!
It has been a steep learning curve over the years working out how to manage a business and juggle a family without any real formal training in business management and no “how-to” guide on the correct way of parenting. Let alone throwing into the mix the seasonal variance of running a farm with natures surprise weather bombs and of course the spice of two different cultures working together. (When you mix Kiwi blood and Brazilian blood it’s like one half wants to get pissed the other half doesn’t want to pay for it!)
It can be done, but you need good people around you and at Gladfield we have a lot of great people and most of them are young. Wherever we go inevitably the conversation turns to staff and we get asked the question, “How do you handle staff, but more importantly how do you deal with “Millennials”. My answer to that is well they are no different to what I was like when I was young.
Just like me and every generation before me, their Old man probably told them they were no bloody use for anything and the world would stop turning as soon as they were given any control!
Well, the worlds still turning and to be honest, it is a better place than it has ever been, shit we have craft beer and Gladfield malt to prove that. Having young people on my staff is what keeps Gladfield relevant and trendy it provides us with renewed energy and keeps the flywheel turning. Just like all of us they need mentoring and guidance and that takes time, so we make the time.
I have a 19-year-old who has been working for me for two years after leaving school halfway through year11 (the fifth form) and is just moving into his first new house today. (Who said housing was unaffordable for young people.) So how did he do it, well he started milking cows at the age of 12 in the weekends and during school holidays, he got an after-school job washing stock trucks at the local transport yards, then he started working for me. We were short of baggers, so he jumped on a bagging shift each night after work and did another two hours each day. Of course, he has been milking his parents for freeboard and no doubt flogging a bit of free fuel off his old man but that is what you call using your brains. There are some good young kids out there just like every other generation.
And when I look around the brewing industry that Gabi and I and all my staff help service we see some great young talented brewers out there who have real flair and passion for what they do. They are really hard workers who like every generation before them have new challenges to deal with and constant change to keep up with, but one thing is for sure having great people around them guarantees success, and Gladfield’s team is right here to help you, we are just another extension of your staff.