Leadership at Nestle
“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower).One more definition of leadership is getting things done by others. Leadership is an important phenomenon in the dimension of managing people because leadership is directly concerned with the styles, tools and techniques for getting things done through the other people. (Bass, 1991) Leadership can be meant different for different people in different environments and perspectives. Leadership may be political, religious, community or organizational, (DePree, 1990) the common thing among all of them is that leaders are responsible to provide guideline to whom they are charged with the responsibility to lead. The concept of leadership is emerged from the organized efforts and mostly related to the presence of organized and disciplined action (Kellerman, 2004). So the leadership is all about the presence of some organization. Without an organization there is no concept of leadership. One thing Organization is basically collection of individuals who are working together to achieve some common purpose or purposes. Interaction and socially construction is the base of today’s leadership. Leadership in organizations and appropriate leadership style for different types of organizations is a hot topic of discussion among researchers for a long time. As leader is responsible to use his management skills in a way that his followers achieve their destinations in an easy and smooth manner so the way a leader adopt for leading has really a great importance. (Bolden, 2005)
Today almost everyone knows about nestle and uses the products made by nestle in daily life. Nestle is a Swiss based company, having the edge of being a multinational it’s the world’s largest and ranked as no. 1 food company of world with more than 447 factories located in 194 countries of world and having more than 333,000 employees around the globe (nestleusa, 2015). Having such a huge work force demands from the company that it should have some appropriate leadership values and structures to guide its managers in decision making and to deal with the problems related to diverse culture and increased diversity within organization.
Rather than maintaining the formal authorities given by organization, it’s the responsibility of managers at Nestle to inspire the people and add value for company and add value for society at large. Such a motivation and commitment results in increasing the value for organization. Due to rapid change in external environment and severe competition which was unpredictable in past and requires the managers to develop some enhanced capabilities which can be described in following principles formulated by Nestle.
Principles of Leadership at Nestle:
Lead for winning:
Credibility development through proper leadership style, achievement and coherent action. Based on the nature of situation and culture of a particular environment proper leadership styles are applied by managers in their different work units. Managers at Nestle think about a phenomena from different perspectives in a way which leads toward innovation. Employees are provided with the opportunity of taking risk and openness to new experiences which many times leads to the mistakes but they are tolerate able if the mistakes are becoming the source of learning and employees are commited to learn from them. Innovation needs experiments and not every experiment brings favourable results, but some can entirely change the way the work was done and managed. So all these experiments are possible when the management is ready to tolerate the results of failures, which is the case of Nestle (Nestle-family, 2015).
Management of expectations and alignment of every action with the overall or corporate strategy of company is the key factor of success for company and the importance of both of them is recognized on every level by Nestle.
Balanced lifestyle, good level of general and professional education, responsible behaviour are the key characteristics of managers at Nestle which when they lead by example shifts toward the employees on every level. All of such actions and demonstrations make it possible to lead for winning.
Management for results:
Maintaining exposure in the situations of intense pressure while in the same time maintaining the temperament and capacity of taking initiatives and risks is most of the times very difficult for managers. Effectively and efficiently managing between these both extremes is the difference between being just a manager and being a leader. Managers at Nestle are trained for managing them.
Business units at local level, regional level, corporate and global level requires synergy. Which is the result of deep level of proactive cooperation among all of them. Leaders at Nestle are trained for creating synergy on all levels.
Change is inevitable and but managing the consequences of change is the responsibility of a leader and the effective management results in managing the change in a way that produces favourable results for organization like Nestle. All the above leadership practices results in achieving business objectives in a way that the compliance is maintained with sustainable practices.
Grow teams and Talent:
Nestle ensures personal commitment of its employees toward their work and achieving their individual goals so that the overall goals of organization become able to meet which results in promoting the organizational success.
Company develop the leaders of tomorrow by addressing them and allowing them to progress in the area which provides them the opportunity to expand their capabilities on individual and group levels. For developing the leaders of tomorrow company understands the extent to which the continuous learning and sharing of ideas in a free manner is important.
Employees can never know about their exact performance and until they are provided with the honest and fair feedback from their managers which includes performance appraisal in a way that respect of employee will never be shaken on any step.
Doing all these leadership practices, management at Nestle is always conscious abut maintain the exact balance of diversity and gender prevails in the organization.
Competing and connecting externally:
Continuously looking toward the ways to satisfy the consumers in most innovative way and attracting the new customers in a compelling way is also the part of leadership practices at Nestle. Nestle believes in an outside in perspective for customers and inside in for the employees of organization and seeks good business relations with all the stakeholders.
Diversity is an important debate in organizational circles for a long period of time. Some organizations try their best to increase diversity in their work settings while others pose their every action against it. So think that the diversity can enhance the productivity because of many different ideas from different thinking while other claim that due to diversity there are conflicts among employees which results in low productivity and wastage of time. Through empirical analysis Researchers declared that the diversity is beneficial for an organization if the differences among the employee are managed properly (Williams, 1998).
Approaches for managing differences:
There are two common approaches for managing differences in the work place. 1. Avoidance 2. Repression. Avoidance is the strategy mostly used by risk adverse management and Repression approach is used when management wants to discourage the disagreement. The factors which must be uppermost in selecting most appropriate approach for managing differences are avoidance or avoiding the difference, conflict, tolerance and appreciation. (Carole G. Parker, 2009)
Conflict is the top level of the differences, it is sometimes also names as war. On the initial level the individuals become aware of the differences among them, such differences afterwards results in discomfort which afterwards results in annoyance, then irritation, then tension, then frustration, disagreement, anger, hostility step by step and finally results in conflict or war (Guillaume, 2014).
Through the use of emotional intelligence one can select the most appropriate way or action to manage conflict. In case of avoidance there is an opportunity to learn more about the difference before taking an action. In tolerance the participants actively engaged in the situation of difference rather than remaining silent and just observing the phenomenon. In conflict there is direct judgement of others action and declaring them good or bad. Appreciation of differences results in a good level of personal development of individual and growth. (Triana, 2014) The individuals tend to speak with freedom and without any kind of fear. In selecting the most appropriate approach for managing differences the manager should consider the appropriate action or combination of factors among avoidance, conflict, appreciation and tolerance according to the nature of situation.
Why is it necessary to maintain a well-balanced work environment?
It is necessary to maintain a well-balanced work environment in the term of diversity because diversity offers the organizations to face its difficulties through new and innovative ways. There are lot of opportunities for organizations to avail from the differences among the employees. When two or more varied thinkers think on a phenomenon, they can consider it in a more creative way than they can think individually. So a well-balanced work environment results in creativity. (Choi, 2014)
Innovation is a result of thinking in new ways. When many of the diverse employees work together to achieve some common objective. For everyone the phenomenon appears in a different angle and different perspectives and at last everyone proposes his own solution to the problem which results in innovation.
When different employees work in a different style in the work environment their diverse experience results in learning for the other employees which are working in traditional manners. Beside the advantages of diversity many disadvantages are also associated with diversity such as communication barriers, thinking style differences, which many times results in non-productive conflict in organization (Australian Govt, 2014).
It is necessary therefore that the work environment should be well balanced in term of diversity to get the advantages of it and for avoiding its disadvantages.
Diversity at Nestle:
Nestle is always an equal opportunity employer and always appreciates diversity in organization. The management is of the opinion that diverse employees are the reason behind such a tremendous success of organization. Nestle has the slogan that “Our differences make us stronger”. Company is of the opinion that the unique people with unique backgrounds bring their unique perspectives and experiences with them. In Nestle the voice of every individual from every background is not only heard but also appreciated. The goal of company is to attract the best workforce from diverse backgrounds and retain them. The company believes that these employees can create such products which are liked by the customers all over the world. Having the diverse workforce like Nestle has not only benefits the company but also the employees and the societies from which they belong to.
Nestle has its own recruiting system which is called as “Symposium for Diverse Leaders of Tomorrow” through which the recruitment and selection of employees from different background is done. Furthermore Nestle also actively participates in different MBA recruiting programs including Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Orientation Program (CGSM OP). Through these selection programs the fresh graduates of universities are selected on merit basis without considering the backgrounds, races from whom they belong to.
For encouraging the diversity in organization and let the employees share their knowledge experiences and best practices Nestle has promoted many ethnic groups such as “Nestlé Black Employees Association (NBEA)”, Nestlé Women’s Network (NWN) for promoting the exact gender balance in the organization. Further Nestlé Hispanic Employees Association (NHEA) is also working for the promotion of interests of Hispanic employees in organization.
The purpose of making all these associations and organizations is to gather the employees from diverse backgrounds on a platform where they can share their experiences about how to make the company a better place to work (NestleUSA, 2015).
The company is of the opinion that the employees from diverse backgrounds are asset for the organization and these employees are in fact the source of competitive advantage for the company.
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