The Paulig Way – Corporate culture is created together

Paulig Group is a 140 year old international and family owned foodservice corporation, with an eye steadfast in the future. Paulig is aware that future success, growth and profitability are the result of a healthy corporate culture. Thus, at Paulig there exists a determined and continuous building of a common culture and a common way of working. The company values set a strong base for developing the company culture. Paulig Group’s values were launched in 2012, and they were co-created by involving Paulig employees in the process.

CEO Jaana Tuominen challenged the staff with a difficult yet an inspiring task: ”I want you to find, not define our values”. But how to involve the Paulig staff on a mass scale?

In the spring of 2016 the question at Paulig was, how to keep building corporate culture so that the majority of employees could have the chance to participate? Paulig Group has business activity in 13 countries with a staff total of over 2000 persons, so sitting everyone down at the same table was out of the question. Therefore, the logical solution was to somehow implement a joint development strategy over the web.

Virtual brainstorming, facilitated by Fountain Park, was then implemented based on Paulig’s corporate values and mission. In addition to existing points of corporate pride, the employees were challenged to ponder their corporate future five years from now. As a result, a vast arsenal of knowledge in Paulig’s own terminology, was obtained with which Paulig was able to further enhance its cultural development.

Paulig employees are, as a group, very committed to the company values and the company vision – Exploring Great Taste – is often repeated in the spontaneous comments of the employees surveyed. Paulig’s active communications department took charge of the results of the Virtual Brainstorming in many ways and on several levels. The whole staff was promptly thanked for their participation, and the results were then utilized by the company CEO in various strategy update sessions. Paulig’s Value Ambassadors utilized the material widely, and the Senior Manager Meetings made use of the results. In HR, the results were used as part of Paulig’s internal management training sessions.

In addition the results were used as material for the company Business Review publication, in all Paulig social media platforms, as background material for all business division executives, in development of sales approach and sales materials for the sales division, in the Annual Report and in Paulig CSR work and reporting as well as in the Paulig Intra as an avenue for sharing the benefits of co-operative development via virtual brainstorming.

”In the last few years we have invested heavily in developing our corporate culture, and we have strongly involved our employees in this process. Everyone realizes how much more motivating it is to be a part of a corporate culture when you have had a chance to be a part of developing that culture, in both the direction of that development as well as the end result, which in itself becomes more refined and inspiring. We want to further strengthen our interactive culture, and to this end the Virtual Brainstorming tool is excellent. Co-operation with Fountain Park was established quickly as we were on a very tight schedule. Fountain Park gave us valuable insight on how to pose the most vital questions, and they quickly grasped our business model and targets. We obtained over 900 employee ideas in less than three weeks. We are very satisfied with the results, because we obtained great material to use as content in our strategy work as well as multiple other facets of our corporate development.” Anita Laxén, VP Communications, Paulig Group

Further information: Hanna Heinonen and Hanna Ali-Melkkilä