Salvador Ortega
LATAM HR Regional Director
Newell Brands
/
View from the Top

Purpose, Talent and Leadership: Key Growth Accelerators

By Cinthya Alaniz Salazar | Thu, 08/18/2022 - 13:10

Q: How does Newell use investment and innovation to improve its productivity and competitiveness as a company?

A: Over the past several years we have become a more agile consumer and customer-centric organization. Therefore, we are confident we have the right strategies in place to navigate changes in consumer behavior while simultaneously building competitive advantage and driving operational excellence. Consequently, we remain committed to unlocking and realizing cost saving opportunities across the organization and building strong omnichannel capabilities.

In recent years, our e-commerce business has grown exponentially in Latin America, pointing towards an opportunity to continue growing alongside this channel. To accomplish this, we are incorporating our talent at the center of everything we do, motivating them to stay engaged and transmitting a clear direction of where we are going as a company.

 

Q: How does Newell prepare its talent for new technology?

A: We know that employees learn while doing their job, so 70 percent of our talent development is on-the-job training. We continuously present talent with the new projects and initiatives that we are unlocking. We also incentivize an entrepreneurial mindset so our people can elaborate proposals to tackle issues they are seeing in the market and accelerate our growth.

 

Q: How has Newell addressed concerns and resistance of some contributors to return to the office?

A: This certainly has been one of the most challenging topics we have all faced in HR and general in most organizations in recent years. Given the nature of our work and our industry, we believe that a significant level of in-person collaboration provides better growth, development and networking opportunities—particularly for those new to the workforce. At the same time, we acknowledge that the pandemic has presented new ways of working and we announced that we will maintain a hybrid model that offers the opportunity to work from home and the office, at least through the end of 2022.

 

Q: How does Newell help its associates to find value in their work?

A: Our culture plays a critical role in the execution of our plans. Our workforce understands that they are adding value in every single process on our value stream. For example, people are not only completing an invoice, analyzing data or making a product; they are part of something bigger, they belong to a bigger purpose, adding value to our consumer´s life. Together, we have a big opportunity to impact their lives, and our communities, with full moments of joy in a sustainable environment.  

 

Q: How has Newell’s cultural integration influenced your objectives in Mexico and the region?

A: Newell Brands has always been active in integration processes, incorporating brands, themes and organizations into our winning portfolio. Where we have learned that our cultural Integration is the most critical pillar in accelerating our growth, especially in our region where we have been on a progressive growth during the last years. In the past three years, we have seen an opportunity to turbocharge our businesses and organizations around the world, especially in Latin America, based on the potential our brands and people have. Our cultural integration, founded on our company values of diversity, inclusivity and belonging, empowers our people and gives them the tools for development, incorporating the best-in-class people experiences among all Business Units. It has been critical to accelerating our growth across the region.

 

Q: As one of Forbes' Top Female-Friendly Companies, how has Newell changed its organizational structure to promote women into decision-making roles?

A: We are convinced that diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the workplace are critical for our company’s success and to continue attracting top-in-class talent. We live in a diverse world, with diverse customers and consumers and we can incorporate into our company all this diversity in inclusive and belonging spaces, giving us a competitive advantage in the way we approach our market and our people. Right now, our workforce in Latin America is 52 percent female overall but at senior levels we have 35 percent female participation, which is a strong opportunity to encourage women to take more leadership positions and we keep giving them the appropriate tools, environment and conditions for their continuous development. Right now, our International CEO, Maria Fernanda Mejia, is a great example of these opportunities and she is also fully committed to women in leadership.

 

Q: What is Newell doing to fortify initiatives that promote the incorporation of women in leadership positions?

A: Internally, we communicate and open to all of our organization the vacant roles we have and increase their participation through forums, groups and systems that focus on internal talent to encourage people to participate and raise their hands. We encourage our employees to take responsibility for their career development and help our people to empower themselves to take the step, particularly women.

We also created several employee resources groups to support their careers and feel they belong in the company.  In Latin America, right now we are focused on three main points. The first is to give women employees more tools, confidence and a stronger voice to actively participate in our innovation processes while helping them to be more involved and ensuring they have more opportunities to grow into senior levels. The second is to involve more of Latin America’s cultural aspects in our interactions, as the region has a broad diversity of cultures. Many people from Colombia, Venezuela and Argentina are living in Mexico and the same in other countries; this group helps them avoid cultural clashes in the workplace as well to make people feel more integrated and builds a stronger feeling of belonging.  The third is our LGBTQI+ group as it is critical that everyone feels that they belong, have a purpose, have a voice and feel safe, empowered and with tools to continue advancing in their careers, where anybody from our organization can participate in each group as members of the community or as allies to keep supporting our people and teams to continue creating a winning culture. We want our people to feel comfortable expressing who they are anytime in our workspace, to maximize our people’s potential.  

 

Q: What are Newell Brands’ business objectives for the coming years in Mexico and Latin America?

A: The opportunity is big and incredible. We aim to double our business by 2025 and we see an opportunity to achieve that goal as we increase our margins, profitability and cash flow. To achieve that goal, we will focus on three priorities. The first is ensuring we keep adding value through an omnichannel strategy, following a clear strategy in all of our channels. The second is to continue working on all aspects relevant to our market: consumers, customers, products and innovation, because we need to keep in mind that there are cultural and economic differences and preferences in each country. We need to ensure that we can innovate in relevant products for our consumers in each channel. And finally, most important, we will continue working on our Talent & Leadership Development program and on an integrated culture with the accelerating development tools in a safe, diverse and inclusive environment for our people’s wellbeing that will maximize their capabilities and potential to achieve the unimagine goals and objectives that we as a company aspire.

 

 

Newell Brands is a leading global consumer goods company with a strong portfolio of well-known brands and over 227 sites around the world.

Cinthya Alaniz Salazar Cinthya Alaniz Salazar Journalist & Industry Analyst