The Hershey Company, A Legacy Richer Than Chocolate

Charitable or seasonal altruism can seem as though it is a selfless act, but they are also a significant driver of organization’s culture, identity and employee morale. Benevolent barons like Ford, Carnegie, and Rockefeller established foundations with large donations meant to carry on their legacy forever. With an unprecedented amount of wealth, these patrons build a sustainable platform for global growth, deliver exceptional shareholder value, and strengthen the corporate image and reputation. One such company, honoring the legacy of its founder is The Hershey Company or commonly known as Hershey’s that ranks as one of America’s best corporate citizens due to its global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts.

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While global growth, shareholder value, and reputation are some of the external benefits of a corporate charitable giving program, its internal benefits are equally important: employee morale, engagement, and teamwork. Hershey’s long and unique culture of benignity has made a significant impact on its culture, employee engagement and morale over the years.

Matters of the Heart

The founder of Hershey’s, Milton S. Hershey, donated his entire personal fortune to The Hershey Trust Company before he passed away. Strangely enough, he never spoke about it, and it was only discovered accidentally a few years ago. Today, the trust runs a school of about 2,000 children who come from diverse backgrounds. The school provides books, uniforms, a nurturing home, health care, meals, counseling and career training to these children in social and financial needs.

Charitable causes like this is something people at Hershey’s are very proud of. Employees like to work for companies that make them feel good and socially responsible and let them engage in volunteer work for various causes.It’s a simple and effective way to boost morale, build team spirit, and improve the company’s brand reputation.

Building a compelling Employer Brand

Hershey’s relentless focus on talent development and employee growth makes it one of the top employer brands in the U.S. When an employee starts working at Hershey’s, the employments turns out to be much bigger in two years since the business grows, the organization grows, and the employee gets diverse opportunities to play in a different league. Employees are Hershey’s get growth opportunities by means of a new responsibility, without having to undergo job rotation.

There’s also internal talent development policies that HR managers at the great American chocolate company work on. In past 12 months, The Hershey Company appointed a dozen senior leaders to its various regions – North America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Not one of these appointments is internal. In such assignment, Hershey’s moves leaders from America to Asia and vice versa. A very brilliant example of the latest corporate trend – corporate mobility that provides employees exciting career opportunities.

The Hershey Company also has first-class leader development programs in Asia and America for more junior leadership levels and globally for its senior leaders. The company believes that employees love to be part of a place where they can learn and grow. Today’s workforce wants to be associated with companies that are interested in their future.

Hershey’s has also integrated the 70:20:10 model for learning and development for its employees. One can say, it’s a wonderful experience for its employees, who get to work on exciting new projects, that sometimes even lead them outside of their comfort zone, provide new dimensions of learning, of business, and of cultures beyond the society they live in. Hershey’s continues to provide such development opportunities to attract and retain top talent.

In addition to these, Hershey’s conducts systematic employee engagement surveys, to measure its employer branding effectiveness. It believes that an organization’s ability to internally staff its key positions, including how much an organization has to take external help to recruit external people is a good measure of its employer brand effectiveness.

Transforming HR through Technology

There is a skills gap, where a lot of organizations don’t even have the frameworks in place to use innovative technologies. It’s vital, today’s HR leaders need to become more strategic on the business table.

In past few years, The Hershey Company has heavily invested in its ability to accumulate date, analyze it in the same way that business do to receive consumer insights, and utilize it to make better hiring decisions. HR leaders at Hershey’s are expected to do much more when it comes to big data and analytics. Although, companies have a long way to go to get acquainted and ready in this particular domain, it’s nice to see a company already leading the way.

Moreover, The Hershey Company has won accolades for providing top-notch candidate experience. The company has designed an end-to-end hiring experience for candidates, which is applicable in all its business units. HR teams globally use social media, including Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as its own internal social media tool and other innovative recruiting technologies to hire the best of the best. Hershey’s is encouraging its HR leaders to focus more on enhancing its qualitative and quantitative skills and get ready to change certain processes when it comes to managing talent.

HR leaders at Hershey’s have a very strong global co-ordination, hence all processes are only created once. For example, the company has a new performance management tool that it development for the world, and then each region was represented within it so that it could basically fit just any market. This has allowed the company to save a considerable amount of time on walking through the steps required in making the tools, by simply focusing on making it successful.

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