Baking & Snack - June 2018 - 24
Programs that empower
employees to advance in
their professional development and spaces that help
them feel at-home, like this
one at Clif Bar & Company,
can help with retention.
"We feel very strongly that we can teach people how to
bake cookies, drive forklifts, but you've got to fit people
we want to work with," said Bill Quigg, president, More
Than A Bakery.
Company cultures can play a major role in employee
retention. When Canyon Bakehouse began to define its
culture, Mr. Skow said the leadership team had a goal
of becoming the best place to work. "We see that pay
and benefits are not the top reasons why people leave
a company," he said. "A lot of times, it's how they're
treated by their direct boss. So what are we going to do
about that? It should be a priority, and it should reflect
the values of ownership."
Culture is critical to a thriving business, but what goes
into identifying and developing something so intangible? Defining the company values is a good place to
start. "An important part of culture is having a defined
set of values, and we didn't have a defined set of values
for a long time, so our culture just kind of rode along,"
Mr. Skow said of Canyon Bakehouse's earlier days. "We
had a culture, but it wasn't super defined, and as the
company got bigger, we had to do that."
Nailing down those values takes some self-assessment. It's about sitting down and asking the questions:
Who do we want to be as a company? What do we value?
Mr. Skow suggested talking to employees to find out
how they view the company culture today, even if those
conversations are uncomfortable.
"When ownership starts asking people what they
think the culture is, they might not want to hear everything people have to say," he said. "But if they are truly
interested in building a good, strong culture, then they
24 Baking & Snack June 2018 / www.bakingandsnack.com
are going to have to ask those questions and assess where
they have to start. You need to hear it to determine who
you want to be."
As a young company, Canyon Bakehouse began from
a blank slate and defined its values fairly early. Older
bakeries may have values that have gotten dusty over the
years. When reevaluating culture, Mr. Skow encouraged
bakers to see if they still resonate.
When the Skow family and leadership team decided to write out their values, they determined they
had to be based in a few things. Canyon Bakehouse's
values had to represent the family, too. Those values
also had to be real, not just words on a banner hanging in a plant. Mr. Skow wanted them to be aspirational. The company leadership settled on six words
that they felt defined Canyon Bakehouse and who
they wanted to be: excellence, attitude, love, ambition, integrity and entrepreneurial. Mr. Skow explained: "We give our best. We're going to face challenges with optimism. We're going to make a choice
to listen and care and serve others. We innovate and
constantly improve. We do the right thing. We take
initiative and manage risk."
For Flowers Foods, Mr. Shiver noted that honesty was
the priority. "Honesty is the foundation for a positive
culture and strong values at any company," he said. "It
begins with caring for one another and connecting at all
levels of the organization. Culture isn't something you
force upon someone, and it's more than just words on a
page. It's a combination of shared experiences and genuine respect and appreciation for each other."
Upon this foundation of honesty, care and connection, Flowers has built a culture of respect and fairness, a
company that celebrates teamwork and individual excel-