Chocolate manufacturer Cadbury has revealed a £75m investment in its Birmingham headquarters. But despite the money securing the future of the Bournville site, the announcement also spelled out job losses.
Prior to the company’s 2010 takeover by US food giant Kraft, Cadbury certainly had a world-class reputation for staff engagement and development.
As an HR pioneer, Cadbury will have created a firm base of well-trained, well-development employees and the new American owner would do well to build on this by continuing to invest heavily in the remaining staffs’ training and development.
So many companies have neglected staff development – particularly at leadership and management level – over the course of the recession. They are now finding themselves starting at a very low base with a lot to do to bring their management skills in line and ready to start to grow again.
Kraft should certainly not disregard the fact that the people who are staying have been through quite an upheaval over the last few years. Many employees will currently be feeling unsure and mistrustful. Some degree of ‘survivors’ guilt’ is also common in these situations.
Last August the unpopular decision was made to stop festive food parcels for up to 14,000 Cadbury pensioners. The annual saving was never disclosed. A figure cannot be put on the bad PR, both internally and externally.
Training leadership and management to deal with these issues effectively as the changes continue will help them to support staff to become more emotionally resilient and to move forward positively with the new structure, rather than just with a grudging acceptance.
Once embedded, a culture of grudging acceptance is extremely hard to shift in an organisation. So take-over companies do well when they pay attention to these aspects.
A restructure in itself will not change a culture. People need to develop the skills to do change well and this can be easily implemented with some development investment.
Article by Karen Meager, joint managing director Monkey Puzzle Training & Consultancy