It’s not everyday you get to launch a new business in one of the World’s most successful organisations.
Hershey is a much loved brand. Mainly known for chocolate, sweet treats and confectionary delights. But they have new sights on their horizon. Their vision is to become the leading snacking powerhouse. And that’s all snacks. Not just sugary ones.
Over the last few years, they’ve quietly been acquiring companies to widen their offering to include nachos, skinny popcorn and salty pretzels. Having mainly left the three businesses they’d acquired to their own devices, Hershey decided to really go for it. They decided to launch a new arm of their business – the Salty Snacks Division.
The thinking was, that Salty snacks provides Hershey with HUGE growth potential. The acquired businesses – Amplify, Dots and Pretzels Inc. – would benefit from Hershey’s deep expertise across their corporate and commercial functions. Allowing them to focus on doing what they do best. Manufacturing their incredible snacks, innovating new ones.
There was a lot of excitement and curiosity, but also some skepticism about the impact being part of a bigger more corporate organisation would have on their culture and ways of working.
Celebrating the new & the true
In the run up to the launch, we wanted to shine a light on the benefits the new division would bring.
Our goal was to co-create an engagement approach that would work for everyone. We ran a series of workshops attended by key stakeholders from each of the businesses. We discussed how their people were feeling about the new division, their existing cultural strengths, traditions and rituals.
What we heard loud and clear, is that the four cultures had lots of great things in common. They all had a friendly family feel, they were all innovative category leaders, with iconic brands. As businesses they were all punching above their weight.
We used the insight we’d heard to design a series of ‘getting to know you’ cultural moments. Bringing people together to recognise what’s amazing about each business and to celebrate the good that was to come.
A new leadership team
With a desire to shake things up, the new leadership team asked Home to help them reimagine the way they engage their team members, inspiring them to have the right conversations as they build their new division. They wanted to pilot new things that could be adopted across the wider Hershey business.
The Quarterlies: We developed a new format for their townhalls. No more long presentations, where the audience just listens. Much more storytelling, audience participation and hearing from more voices.
One & Onlys: Front and centre was to be a brand new recognition programme, recognising the hard work of the cross-functional teams involved in building the new division.
Walk & Talk: To increase visibility of the new leadership team as they establish themselves, we designed a monthly programme of rotating visits to the Salty Snack sites. Leaders would walk the floor, handing out snacks asking and answering questions. Helping them to better understand Team Member’s existing experiences, and their future hopes and ambitions.
Building a culture where everyone thrives
Influencers are storming the marketing world. Consumers trust brands less, and people more. The best-known brands identify their biggest influencers and engage them to create high-impact conversations on their behalf.
We decided to learn from this within Hershey. With change fatigue very much present and a new division to build, we agreed that effective peer to peer communication could make a real difference.
We recruited a network of local influencers across the Salty Snacks Business’ key sites. We developed a quarterly programme, equipping them with everything they needed to drive local culture conversations. And helping them to learn new skills and have new meaningful work experiences.
Today, they’re our eyes and ears on the ground. They let the central team know what matters most to team members, as they build and scale a healthy culture across their new division.
The good news movement
We launched a new communication channel, dedicated to sharing bite-sized good news stories. Moments of goodness as Hershey builds & scales their new Salty Snacks Business. Moments that make their team members smile and feel proud of the impact they’re having. Moments that put a spring in their step and make them feel good about coming to work.
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