Cultivating Culture Through Growth & Development

From supermarket shelves to fast-food and fine dining menus, plant-based foods and beverages are everywhere now.

The market and demand for these products have seen tremendous expansion within a relatively short period of time.

But while everyone has their own reason for embracing such foods (ethical, environmental, well-being, etc), this continued growth wouldn’t have been possible without the companies and individuals dedicated to making it happen.

In the same way that this dedication can push a trend like plant-based into the mainstream, committing to a growth and development mindset as an organization can propel your people to their full potential.


Addressing a Need – Growing in your Role

Plant-based is probably most known for trying to provide animal-free alternatives to products people know and love, like meat and dairy.

Though today’s products are much better than previous versions, they still need to consistently improve if they’re going to fill the role shoppers need them to.

Likewise, at Edlong, we invest in empowering people to grow in their roles, starting with leadership.

Whether you’re a first-time supervisor, taking on new responsibilities and a larger team, or moving up to the director level, you need a way to hone your influence and develop fully in this new role.

We focus on helping our leadership at all levels to refine their skills and gain the experience they need to serve their teams better.

Still, we strive to develop leadership skills through programs rooted in the fundamentals of trust, respect, and communication.


Planting Roots – Growing in Who You Are

Many experts across the industry say that for plant-based products to expand their market share, developers will need to focus less on what they aren’t and more on what they have to offer.

From a human resource perspective, we apply this same principle to our people.

Yes, you may have to learn to get out of your comfort zone or strengthen your weaknesses, but we never want you to feel you must be someone you’re not.

I’ve seen leadership programs that forced an introvert to take an extroverted approach.

But if you have a quiet strength that resonates with your team, do you really need to be loud to command a room?

We don’t think so.

That’s the beauty of the programs we have now is that they don’t try to fit people into a single box.

With teams that encompass all different cultures, backgrounds, and personality types, what matters is that you can develop rapport and drive success over time.

Our ongoing education aims to embrace and understand our differences and learn how to use those differences as our strengths.

Additionally, we have a separate six-month leadership development program specific to female employees. While the program focuses on the essentials of leadership, it is in such a way that it promotes a sense of empowerment, self-reflection, and owning your unique voice.

Although this program is exclusive to females in or entering leadership, it highlights Edlong’s holistic approach to the culture we want to create.


Ultimately, from our owner all the way down, we want to highlight what you bring to the table and help you do that the best you can.

Trying Something New – Growing in New Opportunities

Like any other trend, plant-based has the opportunity to create new applications and product categories that we hadn’t even thought about before.

Creating new opportunities tailored to our employees is something that Edlong prides itself on.

These don’t have to be company-wide initiatives rolled out to everyone. Instead, they can be flexible and focused on individual development.

So, whether that be partnership opportunities with other folks within the company, outside opportunities, conferences, or dedicated coursework, we are all about enabling employees to pursue their long-term goals.

For instance, we may have a scientist who doesn’t have a background in sensory but wants to become more educated in that discipline. We could find a way to create a partnership between their current role and the sensory team.


Perhaps it could be sensory shadowing, helping them gain skills through team project opportunities, or even obtaining a certification in sensory.

There are so many ways we can support them at an individual level, including tuition reimbursement for furthering their education.

We also understand that your growth outside of your role can be just as meaningful, if not more.

That’s why we are constantly working to expand opportunities for personal growth. A few recent examples include financial fitness programs, stress management, and our just-announced language learning program.

Of course, learning a new language can help you communicate in the workplace, but it’s also empowering to travel and experience new cultures in their native language. Moreover, we put no limits on what language they can choose.

We see this as just a snapshot of what we mean by a growth and development mindset.

It’s about providing our people with the power to grow and the freedom to be who they are while doing it.

Want to join the Edlong family? Check our Career offerings here.

About the Author: Kami Hunt – Senior Human Resources Manager

I am passionate about supporting employees throughout life stages, difficult times and times of great success and celebration. As an HR professional, I am committed to fostering a workplace that employees love to work at by constantly re-evaluating how my approach can better benefit both employees and the company. Leveraging my knowledge as a certified PHR and SHRM-CP, I live by the mission to treat each day as an opportunity to learn and better care for those around me that may need a helping hand or listening ear. Experienced in various industries, I am comfortable wearing multiple hats, managing multiple projects, and prioritizing initiatives.

Topics: Employee Spotlight
Resource Type: Article
Resource Region: US


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