Froneri, which was formed through the merger between Nestle and R&R, produces ice cream, frozen food, and chilled dairy products. The company that was originally named PAI acquired R& R, which is the second biggest ice cream manufacturer in Europe. R& R was acquired with an intention of expansion to leverage strong international experience in the food and consumer industry. The position of this company became strengthened after the acquisition of PAI. The Froneri Company has undergone significant milestone transformation since September 2016 when it opened its operations in the countries and regions such as Middle East, Europe, Australia, South Africa, and Brazil. Its most popular brands include Cadbury, Daim, Oreo, Boss, Nirvana, Aino, Maxibon, and Tobblerone among many others. Mr. Farouk Taljabini has given an insight into how the company manages its workforce in terms of diversification of culture and participative management.
Mr. Farouk Taljabini has been the managing director of Froneri since 2013. He also serves as a member of the management board. Mr. Taljabini has been responsible for implementation of a number of strategies, including investment in the Richmond Ice Cream. Mr. Taljabini graduated from Mosul University in Iraq with a degree in electrical and electronic engineering.
Managing the Diverse Workforce
Diversity encompasses a variety of different employee characteristics, including race, gender, ethnicity, and personality. Other forms of diversity notable in organizations such as Froneri include cognitive style, organizational function, cultural differences, and the level of education background. For any large organization diversity management in the workplace is a key factor to ensuring smooth productivity and efficiency. Investing in diversification in different corporations has proven over the years to be extremely beneficial. Thus, diversity enables using a combination of talent and experience from different spheres of life, and any global organization has no other option but to embrace this new way of work management.
Froneri has had to embrace diversity in its workforce mainly due to globalization and the size of the company. The Company had to diversify its workforce mainly because of expansion, resources and the necessity for massive production due to increased demand. Additionally, being a food and consumer company, Froneri has to resort to diversification to familiarize themselves with their customersВ’ culture and religion (Mujtaba, 2007). The key areas of workforce diversification are gender balance, respect, cultural preservation, youth empowerment, psychological representations, educational and physical abilities.
Being situated in a continent with a range of cultural views, Froneri has to deploy tactics and stealth maneuvers while targeting female workers. Thus, gender equality in non-Muslim countries is quite balanced compared to Muslim countries, where women are discouraged from taking managerial posts. The company has encouraged female workers to participate in managerial roles by creating awareness through social platforms, outlaying the importance of involving women in all levels of management, offering them free management courses, involving women in advertising and promoting of their products, and even offered remuneration packages and incentives to initiate their involvement.
In order to show respect and cultural consideration, the company has to gracefully inculcate cultural rules and practices into their employee activities. Food is one of the basic foundations of culture in any country. Therefore, companies have to involve locals in analysis, reconnaissance and market research on food preferences. They need local workers of the target country to carry out such operations smoothly and effectively. This strategy of considering the cultures and practices of the customersВ’ community causes respect of others and, in turn, encourages assimilation of recent practices with the already existent ones.
Age is another major factor for consideration in any venture. It is known that the youth have vibrant minds; therefore, Froneri targets active young workers for middle management and other positions and prefers experienced employees when it comes to top managerial roles. Besides, European countries are associated with prevalence of slightly older population; therefore, the company sometimes has to outsource employees. Packaging and distribution create the need for employing physically fit individuals, as the company cannot rely fully on machinery considering that the products are delicate and perishable. To ensure efficient and effective production, packaging, distribution and management in the company, Froneri needs to employ both youth and older experienced individuals.
Additionally, diversity in the workforce makes the local and international management of the company feel safe and assures investment. A vast network of diverse employees helps a company to get an insight into the current trends, human resources management, managerial methods, and even different cultural practices and thus make its stakeholders feel a sense of safety and belonging.
The skills required in different production and management fields are vast and unique to every department. Furthermore, in some countries where Froneri operates, there is a limited education level, hence locals often do not have the necessary knowledge. This issue can be addressed through employee diversification. Therefore, diversification in the workplace has mostly advantages. Although management of a multicultural organization is often tricky, once the management has a grasp on the operations and other functions it becomes much easier.
Diversification ensures efficiency and maximum utilization of resources in the Froneri Company. In terms of marketing and advertisement, the company has managed to venture into new countries and start production of new and culturally unique brands such as erlenbacher. Incorporation of diverse cultures encourages innovation and talent for better design and packaging in Froneri. It brings the organization ethical and leadership benefit, and in this way, teamwork becomes a tactical advantage.
Diversity management is complex, and managers often find it a tedious process. Issues such as culture clashes, in this case Muslims and Christians, contributed to a backlash on various operations and slower growth in some areas (Harvey & Allard, 2015). Racial supremacy and religious groups that have targeted minority groups have proven dangerous and unethical. Besides, they conducted campaigns on the Internet against merging of cultures.
The interview with Mr. Taljabini revealed that the Froneri Company appreciates the importance of diversity management in the contemporary globalized business environment. He noted that the creation of a conducive environment for each individual, proper training on diversity issues, effective communication, attending social events, encouraging ethical assimilation and teamwork are some of the most significant steps towards effective management of a diverse workforce. Dealing with such challenges as cultural preservation, race supremacy, communication barriers and human resource management can also contribute to a more productive diverse staff.
Mr. Taljabini describes participative management as total employee participation in running the company. Participative management involves inclusion of all employees into the organizational decision-making and actions (Podsiadlowski, Gr?schke, Kogler, Springer, & van der Zee, 2013). In this method, employees are viewed as a vital and direct link to the management body. This promotes cultural integration, teamwork as well as diversification in the work environment.
Generally, the entire workforce has to participate in the daily decision-making of the company in all spheres, from packaging, obtaining raw materials, distribution, storage, marketing, and advertisement to corporate social responsibility. Ethical behavior is promoted through such communal involvement. Participative management not only involves collective decision-making but also engagement of top managers in teamwork. In most cases, managers are less receptive to participative management and often pose the greatest hindrance to implementation of new methods (Fahimi, Jirdehi, & Akbari, 2013). This assures and encourages employees to be free and avail their ideas.
Training and group seminars are some of the change initiatives which promote participative thinking and help the organization assimilate and deal with change. Training that involves the entire faculty encourages participation and broadcasts individual and collective efforts. The Froneri Company involves its employees in developing product design, implementing company strategies, marketing and even advertisements. Sometimes their employees participate in recruitment and job allocation. Managers have to be willing to ease control over employees and delegate them this job.
To implement change while at the same time retaining unique values and traditions is a milestone for any company. Froneri managers have to invest in human resource management. Since any change directly affects workers, it calls for timely data collection and analysis, planning and implementation (Fahimi et al., 2013). An example of this strategy is familiarizing the staff with the expected changes long before they are implemented to gauge their reaction and attitude to the changes.
The Froneri Company implements change from the top. Thus, if the CEO embraces changes, other managers will embrace them. While introducing a new product, the CEO has to first announce about the decision to the managers and ask for their consent. When the proposition is accepted, he or she passes the recommendation down to the lower managers, and if their reception is positive, the CEO announces the launch of the new ice cream name, its design and ingredients. This new approach to change adoption has improved production and increased the level of employee participation in the decision-making and operations. Various considerations have to be taken into account in participative management such as cultural and communication mode. Resistance is a common aspect in this organization, and the managerial team has to adapt to cruel environments, be prepared to rejection of their decisions and manage risks at the same time.
Building collaborative structures in any organization calls for teamwork and a sense of worth for employees, which, in turn, will encourage talented individuals to come forth and take part in the running of the company. The Froneri Company uses competitions and lotteries to encourage talent realization. The use of a suggestion box promotes freedom and transparency in the organization. For example, the company has thus created an open channel, which enables any employee within the company to express their complaints and suggestions for the management anonymously. The management analyzes suggestions weekly to determine the rate of participative management. It should be noted that this method has proven successful in the organization as it facilitates harmonious participation in all organizational levels.
The company has dramatically changed and flourished while utilizing this method. Thus, participative employee-managerial relations have improved the production rate and saved costs. Psychological satisfaction and dignity in the company naturally motivates employees to willingly engage in the management process. Behavioral aspects of individuals have to be taken into account as well. Therefore, the organization has a psychiatrist to aid in stress management among employees. Other forms of participatory management include soliciting survey feedback, job enrichment, and increasing employee responsibility, thus making them more involved in the management process. Rewards and incentives are tied to informative ideas and enriching suggestions (Gilligan & Wilson, 2009). Thus, employees become more receptive to work unilaterally towards a specific goal. Another change that is likely to be seen is the company increasing outsourcing to manage resources and reduce friction in diversification and employee management. Venturing into new markets and increasing production to respond to the growing demand will be seen in the near future.
The interview with Mr. Taljabini on the topic of participative management revealed that he appreciates and applies this management style in his organization. Thus, the company encourages participation of employees in the decision-making. Mr. Taljabini also noted that total participation of the entire workforce in the running of the company increases the possibility of a better decision outcome and gives employees a sense of belonging and importance. Mr. Taljabini also indicated that change management is an ongoing process, and possible resistance to change can be avoided by engaging employees in critical decision-making. He said that the managers in Froneri conduct exit interviews, which have enabled them to gain an insight into the issues that their employees face and design ways to tackle them (Ricc? & Guerci, 2014). As a result, the company has reduced the rate of employee turnover, improved work efficiency, and improved interdepartmental and human correlations. As concluded by Mr. Taljabini, not every company can assimilate this management strategy and expect it to be effective.
The Froneri Company is known for their mouthwatering food products. The company has attained such reputation through adequate human resource management. Diverse and participative management are the core tasks of the human resource management in this company. Froneri has tactfully analyzed the adoption and assimilation process to make it effective in their organization and receptive by employees. Diversification management in the company has proven productive and resourceful in the general managerial aspect of the company structure. Participative management in this organization is directly dependent on interaction between managers and employees. Although it is a new concept in the organization, as evidenced by the interview with FroneriВ’s managing director, Mr. Taljabini, it is incorporated quite smoothly.