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Case Studies » Featured Case Studies » Case Studies » Lion: Leadership, diversity and the importance of great people - 2. Introduction

Lion: Leadership, diversity and the importance of great people - 2. Introduction


Lion is one of Australasia’s leading beverage and food companies and manufactures some of Australia and New Zealand’s favourite milk, juice, yoghurt, cheese and soy beverages, along with market-leading beer and wine brands.

Lion employs close to 7,000 people in Australia and New Zealand. It also makes an estimated direct and indirect economic contribution of $5 billion each year to these economies through its purchase of agricultural goods and sales and distribution to the retail, hospitality and tourism industries.

Values and strategy
Lion believe that business is all about relationships – between the company – and all of its stakeholders including its customers, consumers, people, suppliers and the wider community. Strong relationships can only develop if its people demonstrate constructive behaviours on a regular basis. These behaviours are encouraged and developed by Lion’s leaders, who lead by example and therefore shape the behaviour of their teams. The outcome is Lion’s culture, described as ‘the way we do things around here’.
A company’s values are the operating philosophies that guide its conduct and decision-making processes (both at an organisational and employee level on a day to day basis) as well as its relationship with all of its stakeholders. Used effectively, these values are like a cultural glue that ‘connect’ the team and support a community based on shared goals. 
Lion’s business is founded on five core values, which form the basis of every decision made, as well as guiding daily interactions with its people, customers, consumers, suppliers and the wider community.
These values are:
• Integrity
• Achieving together
• Sociability
• Wellbeing
• Passion.
Company culture is one of the key influencers of a sustainable business. An effective company culture is one where its people’s actions and way of working mirror the values of the company and is essential for ensuring that people understand the overall objectives of the company and how they are expected to work towards achieving these.
Lion prides itself on its achievement culture, with a strong focus on engagement and leadership. It strives for a common sense of purpose, encouraging high levels of ownership, self-set goals, a focus on solutions rather than problems and a positive attitude towards change. The company has set specific cultural goals, with the aim of having employees demonstrating constructive behavioural styles of 75% or more and defensive styles of 25% or less by 2015 as measured by Human Synergistics Organisational Cultural Inventory (OCI) Tool.
Engagement is how people think, feel and act every day. Effective employee engagement is crucial to a successful business in the longterm as high engagement fuels increased revenue. Highly engaged employees are more enthusiastic about their work, more productive, believe in the company and its objectives, and demonstrate that belief through their actions and attitudes. Engaged employees are also more likely to bring fresh ideas to a business and are less likely to seek opportunities elsewhere.
Lion believes that building an achievement culture and promoting high levels of engagement with its employees will encourage its people to achieve great things – and achieve them in a way consistent with its core values. This drives business success by ensuring positive results and experiences for all stakeholders.
Lion invests in research to discover the key drivers of its people’s engagement. In its most recent research, it has identified three main areas of importance:
• A clear sense of purpose – feeling like a valuable member of the organisation
• A sense of wellbeing – enjoyment from work
• Reputation – feeling proud to work for Lion.
To continue to build engagement across these measures, Lion and its leaders focus on these areas and develop action plans to grow them.
(Page 2 of 5)

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