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Employee engagement and living company values with PPC Flexible Packaging CHRO, Amy Rodgers

Our Sustainable Packaging Lead, Tim Hartnell, spoke to Amy on the Venari Podcast


‘Employee engagement remains such an important part of the work that we do as HR leaders – and, really, as business leaders,’ says Amy Rodgers. She’s been Chief Human Resources Officer at PPC Flexible Packaging since November 2022, and has plenty of wisdom to share about managing talent in the packaging space.


Tim Hartnell, Senior Consultant for our Sustainable Packaging practice, caught up with Amy on this episode of the Venari Podcast. Here are some of the key things we learned from their conversation!


PPC Flexible Packaging is a global leader in the flexible packaging space

Based in the Chicago area, the company has 13 manufacturing locations globally, creating a wide variety of products including consumer packaging, medical applications, floral gift, and produce.


Employee engagement remains a fundamental part of a HR leader’s work...


...and, while Amy notes that the fundamentals of the programmes in place to support employees and the business remain largely unchanged, PPC are ‘really focused on where and how we pivot so that those programmes resonate with our workforce, so that we listen, we really start to listen’ – both at site-level and across the wider organisation.


The value of taking a step back


For Amy, it’s important to view employee engagement through the prism of the company’s values – ‘how our team is going to, and needs to, live our values every day.’ She talks about how the PPC HR leaders ‘took a step back and reset our purpose, our vision, and our values’ to ensure the organisation’s culture is primed for success. Small changes to what Amy calls ‘programme design’, from tweaking their focus groups, meeting formats and town halls, have all been part of ‘how we think about doing those differently to drive engagement.’


Applying change


This year, PPC want their employee engagement programmes to really resonate and make a difference, so to kickstart the process the HR leadership group sent out a Pulse survey via text. ‘We took that input and created some small focus groups in a very organic, relaxed way’ to consider what to prioritise and how to make the plans work. ‘We found it to be very helpful and informative. In some cases, it redirected the types of programmes that we thought we were going to do or maybe thought were most important just by listening to our team,’ Amy notes. ‘We’re really excited about some fun things that we’ll be launching in 2024’.


Managing future talent


For Amy, onboarding and developing new talent are key areas to focus on and tweak for optimum results. For the former, the first 30-60 days are all-important: HR leaders need to make sure that they're not only getting exposed to the organisation, they're learning more about the culture, they're meeting with key leaders in the business to understand what those values mean to them, and how they too can go out and live those values and do their work and deliver great things for the organisation.’ This is something that HR leaders need to constantly reinvent for best practices and ‘the environment that we’re all living in now’, as Amy puts it.


As for talent development, PPC are focused on what Amy describes as ‘microlearning opportunities’. These represent chances for people can pick up new skills and develop their career tracks: ‘how we get them ready for their next roles – but may be they have other areas that they want to learn about from the standpoint of what helps them to grow,’ she notes. ‘So we’re really starting to think about different ways that we can bring those programmes to life.’


If you need help finding the right executive talent for your sustainable packaging business, please just get in touch!


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