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lence. "We stress always doing the right thing; no exceptions," Mr. Shiver said. "We encourage each other, and
we hold each other accountable."
More Than A Bakery centered its culture around
the most important thing it does: make cookies and
crackers. It's in the vision statement to be world-class
creators of cookies, crackers, crumbs and smiles. Mr.
and Mrs. Quigg also wanted to take care of their employees and build a community of balance. These priorities of cookies and community have shaped everything inside the new facility: plant design and layout,
organizational structure, and employee programs.
These steps take culture from some pretty words on a
banner to a movement.
Defining a company's culture is one challenge; the
next is getting employees to adopt it. Winning over the
workforce is a combination of buy-in from every layer
of management and shaping programs and structures
"Developing a deep culture certainly doesn't happen overnight," Mr. Shiver said. "For nearly 100 years,
Flowers managers have lived and reinforced the Flowers
culture on a daily basis. During that time, we've enjoyed
many successes along with our share of challenges and
changes. But we've always stayed true to what we stand
for. That's how strong culture is formed and becomes the
glue that binds everyone together."
Buy-in is critical to the success of implementing a
new company culture. Without transparency and support from the top, culture won't stick. "The ownership,
leadership has to live out what the company is supposed
to be," Mr. Skow said at a panel on workplace culture at
the American Society of Baking's BakingTech conference this year. "Hypocrisy kills culture and companies.
It's a snowball effect if you get the right people together."
Buy-in isn't limited to just the very top of the company. Managers at all levels need to be on board with
the new values and direction. They carry the culture
through all areas of the company.
At Flowers, strong leaders support and mentor their
team members, which creates an environment where
employees can be successful. "We've been fortunate to
have insightful leaders with keen business sense who
fostered a culture of respect and appreciation for every
team member," Mr. Shiver said.
This is especially true of baking companies that span
multiple plants. Mr. Wilkinson spoke of the value of local leadership at each of The Bakery Cos.' facilities. A
manager in Nashville brought safety to the forefront
simply by being present and engaging employees during
their shifts. "We went from safety being a part of what
"What we've tried to do is
incorporate Cordia's core
values into our recruiting
and engagement practices."
Tyler Wilkinson, The Bakery Cos.
we do to safety being our top priority," he said. "The
manager accomplished this by talking with people and
celebrating positive behaviors."
The plant manager in Dickson, TN, a rural community, makes an impact on his team by engaging in the community. "He lives in Dickson, goes to the same barber
and knows their families," Mr. Wilkinson said. "People
relate to that in the bakery environment."
More Than A Bakery's vision of community and
cookies completely undid preconceived notions of leadership and schedules and employee programs. When
establishing the company culture, Mr. Quigg wanted to
keep making cookies and crackers safely a priority. He
also wanted his employees to feel valued and like part of
the family. The company refers to employees as Family
Members and mandates that everyone wears a shirt
sporting their name, eliminating preconceived notions
about class and value.
"We noticed in the hiring process, we kept getting
people who would say 'I was just an operator,' " Mrs.
Quigg said. "There's this mentality that being an operator was bad, so I decided no one is going to be called an
Culture also gets legs by influencing company programs. Values influence performance reviews, professional development and pay scales, as well as benefits.
To promote lifestyle balance, the Quiggs implemented
a four-days-a-week, 12-hour-shift schedule at their new
bakery. "Certainly, it's a long day," Mr. Quigg said. "but
people like having Fridays off."
The company also offers additional holidays. Every
employee is encouraged to take a family/community
day. People can use these to volunteer, attend their kids'
field trip or spend time with family, as long as they are
investing themselves in their families or community.
Employees are also allowed to take their anniversary or
birthday off. This is all a manifestation of the company
vision statement to encourage people to have purposeful and balanced lives. Putting these programs in place
encourages that balance.
More Than A Bakery also worked a wellness program
into the health insurance benefits it offers. The program
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