Bean bags, table tennis and many flavours ice cream are purportedly the tricks rolled-out to create an environment where staff can thrive in places like Google and other leading edge employers. No such thing in the deep south of New Zealand, but nonetheless the Awarua site of Ballance Agri-Nutrients is one of the most engaged workplaces we have seen in our travels across global companies. The factory environment of fertiliser manufacture is a far different proposition than the light- and merriness-filled Silicon Valley outfits. But the leaders and the teams at Awarua site continue to impress Productivity People with the culture they have created using their company CI program, the Ballance Production System. Having an engaged and empowered workforce…it’s a simple concept to grasp, yet exceedingly hard to implement. Treat your people like people, give them a voice within a structured framework and connect their success with the companies’ success. No table tennis tricks, but good old Southland ‘roll up the sleeves and get into it’ attitude. The team at Awarua are a pleasure to support, a growth and learning mindset example for all and last but not least, fun to be with.