Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 17

SPECIAL REPORT
Workforce
they used to, Aker said. This has forced bakers to evolve
to remain competitive in the labor market and keep production
going strong.
A growing number are accomplishing this by welcoming
in segments of the workforce that many others
have turned their back on. This includes the formerly incarcerated,
immigrants and refugees. Hiring from these
communities can help bakeries solve their labor struggles
while also making a meaningful impact on their employees'
lives and building a more dedicated workforce.
" Opening our doors to individuals whose doors are
often closed due to the traditional hiring practices of
background checks/drug tests has been Rubicon Bakers'
talent competitive advantage for years, " said Garrett
Pounds, chief operating officer of the Richmond, Calif.based
bakery. " Giving our community a chance to
change their lives by offering steady employment has
been a very successful staffing formula. "
Offering a second chance
A job in the bakery may be less attractive to the average
person today. For these disadvantaged individuals, however,
it can be the opportunity they desperately need.
" Many of our employees have experienced significant
barriers to employment, including housing insecurity,
incarceration, substance use disorders and other systemic
challenges, " explained Karen Calderon, director of
human resources, Rubicon Bakers. " We provide employment
so that they can turn their lives around. "
The bakery operates a second-chance hiring program
with area nonprofit Rubicon Programs, which offers
training and employment opportunities to those facing
Providing marginalized individuals a chance at employment can
build a sense of loyalty that boosts performance and retention.
New Horizons Baking Co.
BUILDING A BETTER CULTURE
To better attract and retain workers amidst the industry's
labor shortage, bakeries must prioritize a positive work environment
built on open communication, said Barbara Aker,
corporate director of More Than A Bakery, Versailles, Ky.
All offices at More Than A Bakery are glass-front, Aker
said, and rotate every four months, which promotes interactions
between employees at all levels.
" It's keeping us moving and engaging with different
people in the organization, " she explained. " I might be
sitting in with maintenance, and I don't know a ton about
maintenance. So I learn a lot when I'm sitting next to the
maintenance manager, hearing his tasks and stresses of the
day. I have a little more sympathy and understanding of the
role, and vice versa. "
Garrett Pounds, chief operating officer of Richmond, Calif.based
Rubicon Bakers, noted that a " culture of trust " must
be built between leadership and frontline bakers.
" The front line needs to feel like they are aware of the
direction of the company and any decisions that will impact
them as workers, " he said. " Two, companies need to stop
and say thank you. You can't take your workforce for granted,
especially the ones who go above and beyond. "
Developing a rewards and recognition program is an effective
way to show employees they're appreciated, he said.
Bakeries should also promote internally whenever possible,
demonstrating to those who join the bakery that they can
build a career out of it.
The long hours and irregular shifts bakeries often require
can deter much of the workforce from joining the industry.
Flexible scheduling opportunities can offer employees the
freedom they desire.
More Than A Bakery, for instance, has a four-day workweek,
with Family Members (employees) working four 12hour
shifts and getting a three-day weekend.
" We find people want that, " Aker said. " I think a 12-hour
shift would be very difficult, but they like that so that they
have time off over the weekend with their families. "
Trina Bediako, chief executive officer, New Horizons
Baking Co., Norwalk, Ohio, said schedules, compressed
workweeks and remote work options for management level
employees can all enhance workplace satisfaction.
She added bakers should rotate floor positions when possible
to reduce time employees spend on repetitive tasks,
which often contribute to higher turnover rates.
Other strategies bakeries should consider include perks
like vacation time and attendance bonuses, health and
dental benefits, and team events like casino nights and employee
lunches, Bediako said. While some of these changes
are small, they can make a big impact on a bakery's culture,
creating an environment people want to join and stay.
www.bakingbusiness.com / June 2024 Baking & Snack 17
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Baking & Snack - June 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - June 2024

Baking & Snack - June 2024 - Intro
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 1
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 2
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 3
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 4
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 5
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 6
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 7
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 8
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 9
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 10
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 11
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 12
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 13
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 14
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 15
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 16
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 17
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 18
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Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 20
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 21
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https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2003_12_01
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