Many bakeries today operate with a diverse, multigenerational workplace ranging from Gen Z and millennials to older Gen X and baby boomers. While such a workplace environment might be considered complex or challenging by many companies, Carrie Jones-Barber, chief executive officer, Dawn Foods, describes it as “transformative” for the Jackson, Mich.-based baking company.
“We have many generations, and we have to find ways of communicating and connecting with those generations in our organization and find ways to connect them to our strategy and what our focus and goals are,” she said recently during the A.B.A. NextGenBaker Global Leadership Forum during IBIE in Las Vegas.
Dawn Foods, for instance, launched its internal Workplace by Facebook to interconnect employees of all ages and develop a platform for training, education and exchanging myriad new ideas.
“We thought it was going to be a lot of fun, and really give us a great way to communicate across our organization, but we found every generation is using it,” Ms. Jones-Barber explained. “The baby boomers are using it just as much as the millennials and the Gen X, and that is what we didn’t expect.”
She noted the interactive platform can be used for sharing photos or messaging information ranging from technical advice on proofing to effective merchandising displays at the store level.
“We are just using it for communication in so many different ways, and it’s connecting all 5,000 of our team members to each other — and that’s transformative,” she said.
It’s just a really cool idea and effective way to transform your organization.