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How did Ingredion cultivate a company culture?

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Nicole Alvino of Firstup and Elizabeth Adefioye of Ingredion talk about igniting and accelerating company culture.
Ingredion Landing

Identified the problem areas and determined what’s important.

With the onset of new leadership in 2018, Ingredion faced a difficult decision to determine the company’s future path. Alterations in consumer preferences and the marketplace led to necessitated finding out how they would continue to succeed. Compared to their competition, leadership had to figure out how to create an enticing work environment for employees. The Ingredion leadership team identified the necessity for a contemporization of company culture after extensive self-reflection. Meetings to examine the leadership team’s most essential core principles indicated that the firm lacked its desired values. Ingredion did not determine the corporate values just by executives; up to 1000 workers from across the organization told which principles connected with them the most. Ingredion then launched the values with intention. 

Launched values by engraining them into daily operations. 

It’s fantastic to introduce a fresh set of ideals. But how does a business truly incorporate them into its day-to-day operations? First and foremost, Ingredion focused on integrating HR and business procedures with previously established principles. Employees, as we all know, are at the core of a company’s culture and principles. Approximately 70% of Ingredion’s workers work in factories or laboratories. Ingredion implemented the following procedures to guarantee the collaboration of employees who share these values:

  • Monthly education was developed, allowing employees to see how values show themselves on a good or bad day.
  • Appointing cultural ambassadors who: 
    • Ensure that the corporate values are communicated throughout the organization.
    • Conduct activities to bring values to life.
    • Engage with local leadership teams to get feedback and viewpoints from employees all across the world.
    • Continue to communicate what is or is not working. 

Upon entering the organization, employees undergo an onboarding process designed to assimilate them into the company culture. Interviewing is a crucial display of a company’s culture, in addition to employee engagement, recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding. A potential employee is made aware of the purpose and values during each stage. The process is as follows: 

  • Assignment to an individual who can help them assimilate into the organization.
  • Explainer videos
    • Takes them through Ingredion’s journey of the initial process of contemporizing values and developing the purpose statement. 
  • Onboarding program 
    • Workday learning solutions to develop an understanding of what the values mean and how they show up.
  • Engagement with cultural ambassadors

Watch the full interview with Elizabeth Adefioye at Ingredion from Attune

How did the cultivation of values present itself during times of hardship?

The external events of society have influenced a company’s operations. When the pandemic hit, businesses were forced to exhibit their values in ways they had never done before. Throughout this time, Ingredion’s value of caring was first proven. Employee safety was at the top of the company’s priority list, as evidenced by their actions. Additionally, throughout the pandemic, America experiences social unrest due to the shootings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Ingredion dealt with the issue by emphasizing that everyone is welcome at the company, regardless of sexual orientation. Furthermore, it provided a chance to reaffirm diversity and inclusion initiatives.

How can other organizations do this kind of work?

Overall, this work is not solely completed by human resources. HR is the facilitator of the process that the entire organization carries out. Ingredion’s success in altering its company culture can be boiled down into the following points: 

  • Listening deeply within the organization
  • Focus groups that concentrate on asking questions about:
    • The strengths and weaknesses of the company. 
    • What would be done differently, if the employee owned the organization.
  • Allowing employees to participate in shaping the company’s destiny.
  • Taking employee input and incorporating it into the company’s mission and values. 
  • Creating checkpoints to ensure that the company’s actions are still connecting with employees.
  • Assuring that the executive team is fully engaged in every process.
  • Understanding the development of values and culture does not stop with declarations. It has to be experienced.
  • Identifying the steps that lead to your values. 

Need to learn how to help your organization better engage and support all their people?

Get our “7 plays to launch your culture of inclusion” playbook to learn how to build a culture of inclusion from the ground up. 

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Sydney Bush

Sydney Bush

Guest collaborator Sydney is a hard-working college student currently attending Stony Brook University. Whether she is working in an academic, extracurricular, or professional role, she applies leadership and organizational skills to every project, including in her intern role with Firstup.

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