Middle leadership has key role in company culture

11 October 2015

Creating a high-performance team culture means mid-level leaders have a key role to play in communicating to staff the right thing to do for a business and the community it operates in, says Coca-Cola Amatil Managing Director NZ and Fiji Chris Litchfield.

In a NZ Food and Grocery Council video interview, he says culture is very important for his company because it wants to make sure its employees “get the most out of coming to work and we get the most and best out of them”.

“It really does start at the top. Leaders have got a role to play in making sure they set an environment that people feel safe and are able to express themselves in, so that permission does need to come from leadership.

“I think one of the challenges to create or change a culture is how you unlock that permission and getting it through the leadership structure, and I think your middle-level leadership has got a big role to play in doing that.

“They actually have to translate that permission from the top of the business and open it up to all of their teams. So I think you need to have the culture and engagement with your middle-level leadership in order to enable a great culture to exist.

“I think one of the really important things that underpin our culture is that there is a really strong vibe around doing the right thing, and that is about giving our employees and our leadership team the permission to do what’s right, not just for the business but for the communities that we operate in.”

FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich says getting culture right is important for companies of all sizes, but the bigger they are, the harder it is to achieve.

“Companies need to recognise the issues and put the right systems in place, and CCA is a shining example of the approach to take.”

Watch the Chris Litchfield interview on FGC’s YouTube channel here.