Home' HR Monthly : May 2018 Contents 30
TWO OF US
PEPSICO AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
bout two and a half years ago, after we
brought together Smith’s Snackfood
Company and PepsiCo Beverages, it still
felt like two separate companies operating under
the same roof. But we’ve evolved now into the
We’ve also had to drive productivity – the
more difficult part of our jobs – but Shiona has
been integral to ensuring that the executive team
always think about how our people experience
their jobs and the tools they need to perform.
So in the past few years we’ve gone from
separate workspaces to a fully integrated,
modern, technology-enabled facility. When
it comes to compensation and benefits, car
allowances, maternity leave and paternity leave,
we are now a pay equity company.
Shiona has been instrumental in getting our
company accredited by the Workplace Gender
Equality Agency and we’ve received their award
for Employer of Choice for Gender E quality
every year since 2013.
Our working relationship has grown
immensely throughout this process, and I
trust her very much. We have prescheduled,
one-on-one meetings, usually every two weeks,
to review key priorities. We also talk informally,
pretty much on a daily basis. Usually at the end
of the day I’ll catch up with her on what’s going
on, where the team is at and ask her if there’s
any help she needs from my side – things I can
sign off on, or do to remove barriers.
Shiona is maybe the best HR leader I’ve
worked with in my career. She doesn’t just
zoom in on HR. She understands the market we
operate in and our customers – she combines
HR expertise with commercial acumen.
She also has amazing gravitas and executive
presence. She’s really calm and considerate, but
also very decisive. She likes to get to the root of
an issue and is very solutions-oriented.
SENIOR DIRECTOR, HUMAN RESOURCES
PEPSICO AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
I’ve been with PepsiCo since 2011; Robbert
joined near the end of 2015.
CEOs have phenomenally busy schedules,
but Robbert has the ability to create space for
people to connect with him. He knows his
people – their names, where they were born,
their children. He will sit down and have an
hour-long conversation with an employee
because he knows it’s important.
He also practises what he preaches. Flexible
work practices often fall down because you’ve
got leaders walking the floors at 6pm on a
Thursday night asking, ‘Why has everyone gone
home?’ Robbert shows by leading: when he has
a family commitment, he makes that known.
Our working relationship is easy. It’s pretty
rare for a conversation to go by where we don’t
have a laugh, and I think that’s really important
in a workplace to keep engagement levels up.
What makes my job easier is that Robbert
trusts me. That’s something we’ve built over
time. So the level of information we need to
exchange from a business-case perspective is
reduced because we understand each other’s
strengths and the thinking that goes into
decisions and recommendations. It means
communication flows more quickly and
decisions are made faster.
In the past three years, we’ve gone through
a significant transformation agenda, and a big
challenge has been funding. We’ve had to make
some pretty tough decisions around optimising
our supply chain, how we go to market, and
core and non-core assets and products.
Throughout that, we’ve committed to
investing in our employees – investing in tools
and technology, work environ ments, employee
benefits and capability programs.
So while it has been really hard, we
have been able to deliver some significant
productivity gains, and also deliver double-
digit engagement growth.
In 2017, PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand
was one of the top three contributors to retail
sales grow th and one of the fastest-growing
Fast Moving Consumer Goods companies. Our
employee engagement score was 87 per cent in
the last occupational health and safety survey,
and 41 per cent of our senior management is
now female. Those are statistics we are both
pretty proud of. •••
Hone your leadership and people management
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PepsiCo’s senior HR director and CEO talk about how they pulled off
some tough business decisions while also boosting employee engagement.
BY THEA COWIE
23/4/18 5:39 pm
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