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Empowering potential, enriching careers

The effectiveness of the Made for More program is evidenced by its impressive retention rates and positive feedback from participants. Image: TMHA.

Toyota Material Handling Australia’s “Made for More” program redefines employee engagement and development in the logistics sector. Through innovative strategies and a focus on individual potential, TMHA sets a new standard for workforce satisfaction and retention.

In an era where the recruitment and retention of skilled employees present formidable challenges for the logistics and supply chain industry, Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has distinguished itself through its innovative “Made for More” program. TMHA – which distributes Toyota Forklifs and Huski Construction Equipment from a national network of 20 TMHA branches – employs roughly 850 team members, with more than half working in its service and parts team.

The Made for More initiative reflects a deep commitment to cultivating a workplace where every individual’s potential is recognised and nurtured. Suzie Albatti, General Manager of Human Resources for TMHA, sheds light on its origins, objectives, and the tangible benefits it has delivered to both the organisation and its employees.

Several years ago, TMHA embarked on a journey to articulate its core identity, values, and the essence of its workforce. “We set out to define who we are, our purpose, and the essence—the ingredients that make up our employees, what they enjoy, and what satisfies them at work,” Suzie explains. This endeavour led to the establishment of the Made for More program, predicated on the belief in the boundless potential of every employee.

The Made for More program is predicated on the belief in the boundless potential of every employee. Image: TMHA.
The Made for More program is predicated on the belief in the boundless potential of every employee. Image: TMHA.

Central to the program are five underpinning themes: job security, family-centric policies, lifelong learning, social cohesion, and pride in TMHA’s product pedigree.

Suzie highlights the importance of these themes in fostering a supportive and enriching workplace environment. “We like to think of it as Made for More, which is the overarching philosophy that every individual has infinite potential they can reach,” Suzie says. This philosophy has not only helped TMHA to attract talent but also to retain employees by offering them pathways for growth and development within the organisation.

The Made for More program stands out for its comprehensive approach to employee engagement and development.

It includes provisions for on-site childcare during school holidays, flexible working arrangements, and inclusive company events, all of which contribute to a family-friendly workplace culture.

Additionally, TMHA places a strong emphasis on lifelong learning, offering numerous opportunities for employees to advance their skills and careers. “Many within our company have grown from apprentices to higher positions, focusing on their development,” Suzie notes, underscoring the program’s success in fostering career progression.

TMHA’s proactive strategy involved developing targeted initiatives to attract skilled technicians from related fields, such as automotive backgrounds, and equipping them with the necessary training to excel in their new roles.

“We’ve used social media and advertising to promote this and developed an eight-week program in collaboration with the service department and marketing to attract people from related areas,” Suzie says. This approach has not only expanded TMHA’s talent pool but also mitigated the impact of labour shortages on its operations.

Furthermore, the effectiveness of the Made for More program is evidenced by its impressive retention rates and positive feedback from participants.

Tiodor Sada, Applications Engineer, TMHA. Image: TMHA.
Tiodor Sada, Applications Engineer, TMHA. Image: TMHA.

TMHA regularly solicits and acts upon feedback to refine and enhance the program, ensuring it remains aligned with employees’ needs and aspirations.

“Our retention rate is excellent, and we’ve received positive feedback from participants,” Suzie says. Such feedback underscores the program’s role in creating a supportive and dynamic work environment that values and invests in its people.

Success stories abound, with numerous employees seizing the opportunities provided by the Made for More program to advance their careers within TMHA.

“One person, in particular, has progressed from technician to supervisor and then branch manager.” These stories are a testament to the program’s effectiveness in unlocking employee potential and fostering a culture of growth and opportunity.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TMHA’s Made for More program demonstrated remarkable adaptability.

The unprecedented challenges of labour shortages and the need for social distancing necessitated a swift and innovative response.

TMHA leveraged technology and virtual platforms to continue its training and development programs, ensuring that employees remained engaged and supported despite the disruptions.

This agility not only sustained TMHA’s operational continuity but also reinforced the company’s commitment to its workforce during uncertain times.

Moreover, the Made for More program’s focus on inclusivity and diversity has enriched TMHA’s corporate culture, attracting a broader spectrum of talent to the organisation.

By embracing individuals from various backgrounds and skill sets, TMHA has fostered a more dynamic and innovative workplace environment.

This diversity of perspectives and experiences has spurred creativity and problem-solving, further enhancing the company’s competitive edge in the logistics and supply chain sector.

TMHA strives to achieve a growth-oriented work environment. Image: TMHA.
TMHA strives to achieve a growth-oriented work environment. Image: TMHA.

TMHA’s Made for More program represents a forward-thinking approach to employee engagement and development.

By valuing and investing in its employees, TMHA has cultivated a workplace culture that is conducive to innovation, growth, and long-term success. As Suzie succinctly puts it: “We’ve seen great success, retaining most of the over 70 people who’ve gone through our transition program.” 

The Made for More initiative underscores the pivotal role of supportive workplace policies in attracting and retaining talent, setting a benchmark for excellence in employee engagement and development in the industry.

WHAT THE EMPLOYEES SAY

The experiences of Tiodor Sada, Dylan Cooper, and Travis Childs at Toyota Material Handling Australia further exemplify the profound impact of the Made for More program on its employees’ lives.

Tiodor Sada’s journey is particularly inspiring. As an Applications Engineer who faced the harrowing experience of fleeing his country due to an ISIS attack and spending years as a refugee, his eventual employment at TMHA stands as a beacon of hope and a testament to the company’s inclusive hiring practices.

“I see my future vanish in front of my eyes as a refugee. I didn’t really expect a company as big as Toyota to hire a person like me with a refugee background,” Tiodor recalls. His hiring not only signified a new chapter in his life but also underscores TMHA’s commitment to embracing diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Dylan Cooper, a Field Technician with TMHA, reflects on the stability and security he’s found working at the company.

His eight-year tenure enabled him to confidently invest in his future, evidenced by his ability to purchase a home during his apprenticeship and recently acquire a second one with his partner. “I feel like I’ve got a secure job at Toyota,” Dylan states, illustrating the sense of job security that TMHA’s policies instil in their employees.

Dylan Cooper, a Field Technician with TMHA, reflects on the stability and security he’s found working at the company. Image: TMHA.
Dylan Cooper, a Field Technician with TMHA, reflects on the stability and security he’s found working at the company. Image: TMHA.

Travis Childs, from Technical Training Development, has been with TMHA for nearly two decades and highlights the familial atmosphere and supportive culture within the company.

“Everyone you work with is your family member,” he says, emphasising the strong bonds and supportive environment cultivated by TMHA, traits often associated with its Japanese corporate ethos.

Additionally, Dylan comments on the abundant opportunities for career progression within TMHA. He observes many colleagues who have advanced from apprentices or technicians to higher managerial roles, reinforcing the Made for More program’s focus on career growth and lifelong learning.

“There’s a lot of room for opportunities if you want to pursue it,” he notes, encouraging others to consider a career with TMHA.

Travis’s closing advice to potential new employees encapsulates the sentiment of TMHA’s workforce: “Jump on now. Because you won’t turn back.”

This phrase reflects the deep satisfaction and loyalty felt by TMHA employees, further validating the Made for More program’s success in fostering a positive and growth-oriented work environment. 

For more information on Toyota Material Handling Australia, click here

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