We continue our discussion on engagement this week by looking at a specific case study where values and leadership have been integral parts of creating a highly engaged culture. But firstly a disclosure. I work for the company in this case-study and part of my role is working on engagement. So yeah, I’m biased, but it’s actually a great story.
Frucor is a drinks company. You may not have heard of the company brand but no doubt you’ve heard about the product brands: V, H2Go, Just Juice, just to name a few. Both Frucor Australia and Frucor New Zealand achieved Aon Hewitt Best Employer accreditation status this year. For Australia it was the third year in a row, for New Zealand, we also won in 2011.
Frucor credits it’s high engagement to a strong values-based culture. The Frucor values have been around for about 8 years. However, a values refresh was undertaken last year to provide some aspirational ‘stretch’ to the values language. Really, the values are not that old cliché of something on the wall that are nice to look at. They really are such a strong part of the way things are done. Don’t believe me? Well when your employees come up with rap songs about the values that’s a strong signal that they are really owning it.
Performance is important to Frucor, as it is with any company. Frucor is adapting to cope with an increased intensity of change coupled with a complex supply chain and an even greater emphasis on a quality product. But it’s a tricky balance to up the ante on performance in a way that supports and strengthens values and culture.
One of the ways that Frucor has done this is through enabling leadership. Frucor invests heavily in developing leadership skills. Particularly leadership capabilty to articulate the direction and purpose of the business and support people in achieving that vision. But anyone can articulate vision and strategy right? The key difference is how that is done. So I’m going to throw another cliché in here – genuine authentic leadership. This is way way easier to say than do but the thing that has the biggest impact. As the Frucor NZ CEO, Mark Callaghan said “when you really do care about how people feel it creates an environment of honesty, openness and trust.” People really do know if you are trying to BS them with an ulterior motive.
Frucor really does care about it’s people. Take it from someone who lives and breathes it every day – you should have read enough of my blogs to know I’m not just giving you the party line and that is really really how it is. This geuine, authentic approach to engagement underscored by a strong leadership enabled culture is what makes Frucor a great place to work.
So this week’s questions:
Q1) How much do you think values has an impact on engagement? What works well? What doesn’t?
Q2) What is the role of leadership in engagement? Why is it so important? What have you observed?
Q3) How do you enable authentic leadership?
Q4) Can you really achieve engagement if you are focusing on increased performance as the outcome?