Monday, October 21, 2019

ALASKA MILK CORPORATION:
EMPOWERING PEOPLE TO REALIZE OUR PURPOSE

Alaska Milk Corporation (AMC) is the leading Filipino dairy company that has been a trusted household name since 1972. Then and now, AMC has been committed to providing quality dairy products so that every child in every Filipino home could gain access to quality nutrition, with the hope of bringing down malnutrition levels in the Philippines.

In 2012, AMC became a company of Friesland Campina (FC), a Dutch dairy company that is one of the global leaders in the industry today. Following a period of successful integration, in 2018 the company embarked on significant changes that were meant to transform and enable the organization to win in the market.

The overall transformation program in 2018 encompassed both setting a long term vision, generating engagement and buy-in from the organization, and action planning and implementation. A key element to this is a shift in
mindset in our organization’s top 50 leaders. Thus, we focused our efforts in building the leadership team thru more active participation, coaching, and empowered decision making. Our approach to this change was both grounded
in our strategic aspiration while ensuring pragmatism to meet the day-today business challenges and requirements. The key initiatives behind this leadership transformation program is summarized as follows:

  • AMC new ambition setting and strategy development: Marking a shift from previous practice, a cross-functional team collaborated to formulate the ambition and strategy. This was complemented by the management team’s vision resulting in a strategy that was both built top-down and bottom-up. Following this, a clear line of sight of goals to strategic priorities was cascaded to all levels of the organization, sustained thru monthly reviews of performance using a balanced scorecard.
  • Leadership Engagement and Development initiatives: Internally designed “Leading for the Big Win” leadership workshop busted old paradigms and ways of working of the top 50 Leadership Team (LT). It encouraged speaking up, giving and seeking feedback, and proactively seeking to build better relationships, making it easier for cross-functional teams to collaborate. Aside from the workshop, we continuously conduct regular LT meetings for updates and discussions on our strategic priorities and KPIs, and key initiatives and issues. The overriding principle is that our leaders needed to lead by example.
  • One Workplace Project: To match the shift in organizational culture, we also embarked on a project to modernize the workspace for AMC, enabling more collaboration and interaction. While under the supervision of HR, a cross-functional team was formed to ensure that the new office design delivers on both the requirements of the business and the needs of the modern AMC workforce. Following the implementation of the new workplace, we observed that the energy in our office immensely increased and cross-functional engagements and collaboration across different groups improved.
  • Review and rejuvenation of Total Rewards for AMC: Overall, we have total rewards that are at par with the market since we join annual total rewards survey and adjust the salary structure and benefits when necessary. Another thing that we can be proud of is our ability to innovate our people practices with minimal costs, offering more flexibility when necessary. For instance, in 2018, we launched a flexible work schedule, relaxed dress code policy, improved life and health insurance, and higher employee product discounts.
  • Talent Management and Capability Building: To future-proof our organization, we embarked on a review with an objective to simplify the organization while empowering people at all levels. We redesigned roles to increase productivity and optimize resources while driving clarity on key competencies required across the different functions through the development of competency blue prints for Commercial and Operation teams. This enables a more structured basis for talent discussions and creation of talent development plans.
  • A Compelling Employer Branding: We realized that while we have done much to upgrade our current organization, we will need to continue to attract top talents to enable the realization of our long-term strategy. As such, there was a need to update our overall employer value proposition. In 2018, we launched a holistic employer branding program for AMC going beyond the traditional company website. Instead, we covered the channels where young and upcoming talents engage, notably Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Beyond being in social media, we ensured that there was compelling content that appropriately reflected AMC’s uniqueness as an employer in the Philippines, characterized as follows:
    • #thingsthatmatter – “Your role in AMC/FC contributes to things that matter, i.e. bringing better nutrition to the world now and the generations to come.”
    • #jobsthatmatter – “We hire for careers and invest on people since we have a long-term focus. We offer an environment for continuous learning where talented people learn to reach their full potential.”
    • #pusongalaska / #walaparintatalosaalaska – “We value family, ‘malasakit’, talent, hardwork, and dedication – Filipino values that permeate in the Alaska culture.”

In a nutshell, we have endeavored to ensure that our leader-led transformation program was holistic covering the hard and soft elements in our organization: from our ambition to our new ways of working, to our new people practices and workplace, to our talent approach, and finally to how we celebrate our people.

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