I actually came across this article from Forbes.com in 2009 but never got around to sharing it.
The piece tells about Douglas Conant, the new CEO of Campbell Soup Company, who came on board in 2001 and over the next eight years grew EPS by 5-10% every year.
His strategies included invigorating their work force by concentrating on employee engagement. In 2002 62% of employees reported being not actively engaged and 12% were actively disengaged. By 2009, 68% were actively engaged and only 3% remained actively disengaged.
I love Conant’s line:
“To win in the marketplace, we believe you must first win in the workplace.”
Here are several things the company did to “win in the workplace”:
- Declared a “Campbell Promise”: Campbell valuing people, people valuing Campbell
- Replaced 300 of 350 leaders within three years, backfilling half of the vacancies from within
- Surveyed employees annually and reviewed unit results with the respective managers
- Established ability to inspire trust as the number one criterion for evaluating managers
- Celebrated accomplishments, including lots of notes and letters coming out of the CEO’s office
Recent major studies reveal that most powerful driver of employee engagement is the perception within the ranks that senior leadership cares about the well being of staff.