Richard Glover

on Monday, 21 May 2012. Posted in Leadership Interviews, Action Motivated Leadership

Richard Glover
General Manager, PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand
Richard Glover

Richard Glover has been General Manager, PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand since August, 2007.  Previously he was Vice President Sales for Frito-Lay Canada, responsible for leading the field sales team to sell and service customers in Ontario.  Richard joined the company in 1994.  He worked across several roles in Marketing in the Frito-Lay North American business, in Canada from 1994-98 and in Dallas for 1998 to 2003.  He holds an Honours Business Administration degree from the University of Western Ontario.  Richard plays ice hockey and runs.  He and his wife, Nana, live in Sydney with their three children:  Giselle 13, Colin 10 and Kieran 7.

Interview with Richard Glover

Can you discuss PepsiCo's investment in manager training in terms of how the managers are identified and coached to develop their capabilities?  Is the process geared to identifying and training women as managers?

Investing in developing high quality managers is critical to retaining talent. We invest in both formal training programs to build manager capability as well as ongoing coaching and support. We also utilize many different forms of feedback and manager assessment to help identify areas for improvement and we work with managers on closing those gaps.

Some of the areas in which we have recently invested in building manager capability include coaching and developing talent, employee recognition, holding effective performance appraisals and inclusive leadership skills.  In addition, we have institutionalized weekly “One with Ones” between manager and team members to ensure regular dialogue, feedback and coaching is part of the way we work everyday.  Capability training is important but sustained results are derived by making coaching part of the work we do everyday as managers.

How are managers trained to be more inclusive of people at PepsiCo?

One of our core values at PepsiCo is “Win with Diversity and Inclusion”. We truly believe that diversity and inclusion gives us a competitive edge and is one of the reasons our company has been so successful. We recognize that just having a diverse workforce isn’t enough; the culture must also be inclusive in the sense that every employee feels they can be themselves and that they are valued for their unique contribution. As such, it is imperative that we create an inclusive culture if we are to fully realize the benefits from a diverse workforce.  We expect managers to create an inclusive working environment.  That is why we’ve invested in a Diversity and Inclusion training program for all our managers (from the Executive Team down to frontline managers). But it’s not just about attending a training session. We recognize that to create the kind of inclusive culture we desire, managers need to be doing the right things every day. As such, we link inclusive behaviours to managers’ remuneration, via their formal performance appraisals. All managers must deliver on specific objectives around coaching and developing talent and creating a more inclusive and cherishing culture for their employees. We also provide managers with a lot of support – including coaching from their local HR teams, formal training programs, feedback methods, and various tools and templates that help them to build their capability in this area.

The Work Life Quality Program and “One Simple Thing” commitment have also helped to institutionalize work life quality discussions at PepsiCo. We put the onus for initiating discussions around work life quality on managers, not individual employees. Taking the time to discuss work life quality with employees is not an optional extra at PepsiCo – it’s a required part of being a successful manager and leader. As such, the “One Simple Thing” commitment and other important talent sustainability objectives are mandated manager responsibilities (linked to manager remuneration and included in manager’s written performance appraisals). Again the transparent culture of assessment and feedback at PepsiCo means it is difficult for a manager to hide if they are failing to deliver on these important talent sustainability objectives like being an inclusive leader.   

What systems are in place for women to navigate through to management at PepsiCo?

There are visible role models of successful senior women in our company. Indra Nooyi has been our global CEO since 2006, and within PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand, two members of my Executive Team are women.  We have women in management roles in all parts of our business – including Manufacturing and Sales as well as Marketing, Finance and Human Resources. These women are living advertisements that women make our company stronger.

We encourage equal participation of men and women in our various leadership development programs including the Accelerated Development Program (a residential program for high potential employees).

Standard career development tools such as the Career Development Action Plan are jointly developed by employees and their managers. These are mandated for all employees at certain levels, regardless of gender, meaning women’s career planning is subject to the same rigor, attention and formal documentation as men’s. In this way, women are less likely to be overlooked as they might be in a more optional career development system. Formal succession planning (and associated action planning) also takes place annually, and includes identification of high potential women.

In addition, in recognition that women have particular issues or needs in their road to leadership, we have provided a number of development opportunities to current or aspiring women leaders in our business. This has included sponsorship of 11 female employees from across the PepsiCo ANZ business at the Australian Women’s Leadership Symposium in Sydney and additional events and programs such as forums with visiting senior women, negotiation skills training and participation in women’s roundtables.

We also have a culture of feedback and consultation which opens up the lines of communication with employees and helps us to identify any issues of concern early. We regularly consult with our employees, informally and formally (via roundtables and surveys as well as via manager-employee one with ones).

Can you discuss the "one simple thing" request which I understand is designed to enable managers to hold effective, meaningful work life quality discussions with their direct reports and to support the adoption of more flexible workWhy was this initiative instigated and how is it managed in the organisation?

PepsiCo is a fast-paced, results-driven, global company. Performance matters in our company, and our employees are renowned for leadership and commitment. Our sustained success is dependent on the contributions of some 3000 team members across ANZ.  Their initiative, ideas, leadership and determination everyday to make, move and sell the best quality products is what makes or breaks our success.  This environment presents a challenge: how to provide the kind of flexibility and work/life effectiveness that will enable us to attract and retain talented female and male employees, without losing the performance-driven culture and commitment to results that has made our company successful year after year. 

In 2008, we implemented a Work Life Quality program, (encompassing many initiatives such as the “One Simple Thing” commitment), which enabled us to successfully meet that challenge. The Work Life Quality program provides flexibility so that employees can more effectively manage their personal priorities.  The “One Simple Thing” commitment was an important catalyst to create the dialogue and working environment so that employees understood that we believe WLQ is an important strategy that we would support.  The mechanics of the “One Simple Thing” are straightforward:  at our Mid year reviews in July, every manager must ask each direct report “what is the one simple thing I can do as your manager to improve your work life quality?” It might be around enabling an employee to access one of our flexible work practices like working from home, or it might be as simple as allowing a longer lunch break twice a week so the employee can go to the gym. Not all requests will be approved, particularly if they negatively impact customers, cost or productivity but in most cases, managers can say yes immediately to support requests.  Managers must document and report on these employee requests – the nature of the request, whether or not the request was approved or declined, and if declined the reasons why this was the case. We measure and track the results to ensure we are delivering on our strategies. 

The important thing is recognising that employees have lives outside of work and it makes good business sense for us to enable them – wherever possible – to be more effective at managing their lives outside of work. This approach to WLQ has helped us to reduce voluntary employee turnover by 50% and our employees are more engaged, more loyal and more productive. Importantly, we’ve normalised manager/employee discussions about flexibility in the workplace and placed the onus for initiating work life quality discussions on managers, not employees.  We’ve removed the stigma of requesting or accessing flexible work arrangements and in doing so, removed a significant barrier to women’s retention and advancement.

Significantly, this has not harmed our business performance – in fact, our 2008 results were some of our best ever in terms of financial success.

What benefits have you found from PepsiCo's implementation of maternity leave? How does this policy operate and what have been the problems in establishing this policy?

Our sustained success is dependent on the talent, experience and leadership of our 3000 employees. We want to have the best leaders, and we want to keep their experience and commitment.  Paid maternity leave has an excellent return on investment since it helps us retain our talent.  Undoubtedly it helps us retain talented women who might otherwise have left our company because they weren’t able to manage their work and family responsibilities. If you have high performing, talented, experienced women – many of whom are at or approaching management level when they take maternity leave, we want to keep them as part of our company. The best way to do that is to make it easier for them to take maternity leave and easier to transition back to the workplace when that leave finishes. We provide 12 weeks paid maternity leave and we are flexible about transitioning women back to the workplace. For example, some women prefer to return to work in a part time capacity, at least initially, and we currently have numerous examples of women in management roles, who’ve taken maternity leave and then  been able to return to work in a part- time capacity, without losing their management role or status. This is a win win –the business retains the services of an experienced, proven performer at management level, avoids the costs of turnover and retraining, and the employee has both a satisfying career and more time to manage her family responsibilities. These employees are often more engaged and loyal to the company, because they appreciate that the company has recognized they have a life outside of work, and that they are a valuable employee worth demonstrating some flexibility for. The biggest problem is changing the mindset that management roles can’t be performed part time or flexibly, however we’re making progress on that front too with our Work Life Quality program. The best advertisement is the women (and their managers) who are demonstrating that part time or flexible work arrangements can work at management level. We’re now looking at implementing a Stay In Touch program for women on maternity leave, and also a Childcare Finding service to make it easier for our employees to locate suitable childcare.

  1. 6.What is the representation of women in management at PepsiCo?

30% of all managers and 33% of executives (banded) are women.  25% of my senior Executive Team are women (2 of 8).  Compared to ASX200 figures released in the latest EOWA Census, these figures show we are doing better than a lot of companies, but we recognize that we still have a way to go before we can say we are truly capitalizing on the available female talent.

Why has PepsiCo set to increase women's representation in various levels of the organisation? 

We believe that a diverse workforce gives us a competitive edge and drives better, sustained performance.  Women are at least 50% of the available talent and in fact we’re seeing women increasingly represented in the graduate population. Women make or influence 80% of purchasing decisions.  But if you look at female representation in the management ranks of many companies, you don’t see female representation that reflects those figures. To me, that all adds up to a big opportunity for any company that can capitalize on female talent. I want PepsiCo ANZ to be a best employer, one that talented women feel has opportunities for them to lead and succeed.  

How are women supported once they become managers in terms of the culture of the organisation?

Please see comments in #1, 2 and 3 above.

How do you describe your leadership?

Leadership at PepsiCo is not just about delivering business results, but also about delivering on people results – things like coaching and developing talent and creating an inclusive culture are seen as necessary competencies all our leaders must develop. This is not a company where you can achieve great business results at the expense of people, and be seen as a successful leader. You must consistently work at and deliver on both business and people results. Everything we do reflects that philosophy, for example, our performance apprasials give equal weighting to business and people results, and manager’s remuneration is directly linked to their performance on both aspects of leadership. We regularly assess managers’ performance via 360 feedback and other tools, and all of us are expected to take that feedback on board, and continue to work on improving our performance as leaders.

What are your observations of the difficulties women encounter achieving their leadership objectives in private industry in Australia compared to the other countries you have worked in?

With PepsiCo, I have worked in Canada, US and now Australia.  I think the challenges are similar for all employees, including women – and the most common issue is about effectively balancing the challenges of a busy life with the demands and opportunities of one’s job.  One of our core valuesbal value is to “Win with Diversity and Inclusion”.  You will see a common commitment and strategies to support flexibility, training, and a real drive for diversity across all our businesses because we see this as a competitive advantage.  This opportunity is true in Australia as well as Canada and the US. 

What strategies would you recommend for other organisations to consider to enable women to break through the glass ceiling in workplaces?

There are no easy solutions. While I am proud of the progress PepsiCo has made, we remain on a journey to increase the representation of women in leadership.  What has worked for us has been visible female role models, a clear message from the top that Diversity and Inclusion is important in this company, backed up by linking key objectives to managers remuneration via performance appraisals. A willingness to critically examine your organization and then make the required changes is also important. Ultimately, we are talking about a business opportunity here – to get a bigger slice of the female talent that will enable our business to succeed -  and we need to tackle it as we would tackle any other business  opportunity, rather than as a feel good activity.

What are your concerns about the current financial crisis and its impact on PepsiCo ANZ?

The current financial crisis represents an opportunity for PepsiCo ANZ to distinguish itself as a best employer. While other companies are laying off employees, cutting back their training budgets and putting salary freezes in place, PepsiCo ANZ is continuing to hire and continuing to invest in our people. For example, we’re continuing with our Accelerated Development Program – which is a residential leadership development program for our high potential men and women, we’re continuing to invest in developing the leadership capability of our people managers. We’ve just launched a new Employee Recognition program called “Applaud” and have invested in training our people managers in the importance of leadership, communication and employee recognition. We’re continuing with our Work Life Quality program including the One Simple Thing commitment, and we’re continuing to do the things that we know will attract, engage, develop and retain the talent we need to make our business successful.