Page 4: The Arla Advantage
Three key values within the Arla Advantage programme were designed to transform the culture of the organisation. These were:
- The people advantage
Arla had to be perceived by its employees as 'a great place to work'
In order to do this, it was important to build an open environment in which news (both good and bad) could be communicated clearly. If everybody receives the same message, and shares information, it will help them to work towards the same goals and give a clear direction. At the same time, it was important to develop a workplace in which people could be valued and trusted.
- The quality advantage
With colleagues, farmers and suppliers all working together in a quality partnership, the aim was to always deliver with quality standards agreed. With a passion for doing things the right way, employees could take on responsibility and continuously improve performance.
- The customer advantage
This involves creating the right first impression, being fast and flexible in meeting the changing needs of customers e.g. retailers and final consumers. Developing the customer advantage also involves constantly innovating and proactively seeking opportunities to add value.
These values had to be adopted, i.e. practised by all employees in order to translate this into a series of actions that transformed working practices. The Arla Advantage programme involved everyone from every team. Each team explored how they would demonstrate the values. This formed the basis for a value-driven culture to deliver its vision.
Once you have created a values driven culture, it is vital that you constantly look to enhance and develop it further still - it's a journey that never ends.
At Arla Foods this role of maintenance and development is undertaken by the Arla Advantage Champions Group, a group of colleagues drawn from everyfunction of the business.
The group meets on a regular basis to analyse how the company culture is developing, suggest improvements and communicate with all six UK sites about exciting new developments and share best practice.
Coming from an anonymous (i.e. unbranded) supply chain associated with dairies and milk, Arla did not want to be like the rest of the dairy industry. The aim was to build a business that would provide it with a distinctive position in the market place with strong brands and high consumer confidence supported by able and flexible employees.