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The Trusts receives the Dale Carnegie Leadership Award


The Trusts has joined some of the giants of world business by winning one of only four prestigious leadership awards given, world-wide, in 2013 by the renowned Dale Carnegie Training Partners organisation.

In taking out its Leadership Award, The Trusts has joined a small and very elite ‘alumni’ of past winners that includes such companies as Boeing, Wal-Mart, Hearst Newspapers and Adidas.

The Carnegie organisation includes 400 of the Fortune 500 companies among its clients and says that more than eight million people around the world are involved in training it provides, so its opinion and its awards are valued by even the biggest companies.

Leadership Awards are given to organisations that emphasis engaging and involving their staff as a critical ingredient in achieving their business goals, something that new CEO Simon Wickham has focused on since taking on the role two years ago.

In that time, the organisation has introduced a raft of initiatives to promote the “people” side of its business and increase its connection with the West Auckland community. In total, more than 80% of The Trusts staff have now received training in the art of connecting with people, both internally and with customers.

This has included having Dale Carnegie Training Partners design a world-class customer service training regime for The Trusts staff. This is one of a number of top level, and in some cases, industry leading training programmes designed to achieve business excellence and enable staff to pursue their careers to the highest level.

Staff are integrally involved in The Trusts own business evolution and development. They are encouraged to become “Agents of Change” in assisting the organisation to grow and engage the whole staff in the process. There are also annual Excellence Awards for top performances by staff in all areas and at all levels in the company. Mystery shoppers regularly visit The Trusts liquor stores, bars and restaurants.

These initiatives led, last year, to The Trusts winning top honours for the most improved large workplace, in the national Kenexa survey of New Zealand workplaces. This year they have taken The Trusts to the rarified international heights of a Dale Carnegie Leadership Award.

“I can’t adequately express how proud I am of this achievement,” Simon Wickham said recently, when the award was announced.

“It is a magnificent tribute to our staff; to our Board who have empowered us to invest in staff excellence and to Martha Gibbons, our Manager of People and Culture, who has implemented the programmes that have led us to this award,” he said.

He said that Miss Gibbons’ job title signaled that his organisation had an HR function that recognised that good people lead to good corporate culture.

It was also a title that Dale Carnegie Training Partners Chairman and CEO, Peter Handal, singled out for favourable mention when he bestowed the award.

“Most people pay at least lip service to the concept that people, staff and customers, are an organisation’s prime asset, but in our case “people” also includes our entire community. We are community owned and so the people in our community are more than staff and customers. They are also owners, and as owners they have expectations that we will run our business in a way of which they approve,” Simon Wickham said.

“It’s one of the of the reasons we don’t sell legal highs for example; and that we have robust systems in place to prevent sales to minors and, why we have a relatively small number of retail liquor stores in order to minimise the kind of community harm that we see in communities where there is virtually a liquor store on every corner.

“Our community also expects that we’ll be a credit to West Auckland and be a good corporate citizen and an employer of choice that offers the people in our community world-class skills within careers, rather than just jobs. Skills that will get you a position anywhere,” he said.

“We simply cannot achieve any of that adequately unless we train our people to be the very best they can be, to see The Trusts as “their organisation” and to see their own success and The Trusts success as one and the same thing; people who acknowledge that achieving excellence for our community is the paramount goal for all of us,” he said.

Mr Wickham paid tribute to Dale Carnegie Training Partners in New Zealand, and it’s CEO William Farmer, for creating the training tools and programmes that The Trusts have used in recent years.

Dale Carnegie Training Partners make just four awards internationally each year, one each in North America, South America, Europe and the Africa, Asia, Australasia, Pacific region. The Trusts was the winner for the latter, making it one of the world’s four best workplaces in terms of the way staff are trained and involved.