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Ben and Jerrys Remarkable Success - Essay Example

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In 1977, Ben Greenfield and Jerry Cohen began a small ice cream business in a converted gas station in Vermont. In spite of the fact that they sell a product full of fat and sugar in an health conscious age where focus is on a trim waistline, by 1990 Ben and Jerry's had over 70 million dollars in sales and happy employees (Sikula, 1996) The company has accomplished this feat by focusing on a three part mission-product, economic and social.
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Ben and Jerrys Remarkable Success
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Download file to see previous pages We have a progressive, nonpartisan social mission that seeks to meet human needs and eliminate justices in or local, national and international communities by integrating these concerns into our day to day business activities. Our focus is on family and children, the environment and sustainable agriculture on family farms
Employees enjoy working at Ben and Jerry's and the company maintains a low turnover. The company states that they have a deep respect for human beings inside and outside the plant. According to the Employee Job Satisfaction Model revised by Richard Scholl, job satisfaction is the employee response to the organization. The company ability to meet the expectations of employees determines job performance. The Affective component of the model reflects the way employees feel about being a part of that work force. Ben and Jerry's has succeeded in producing positive attitudes in many ways, including making working for them fun.
In 1987 when increased demand put pressure on employees, Ben and Jerry's created a committee called The Joy Gang. The group plans events throughout the year for holidays, birthdays, parties and secret events to surprise employees. The supervisors participate too promoting a team feeling and avoiding the, us and them, mentality sometimes occurring in big business.
The management structure has captured the attention of numerous business journals such as Ethics and Behavior, T&D and American Business Law Journal. Ben and Jerry's incorporates moral management, or as Jerry Cohen phrases it, "caring capitalism." Not only does the company donate 7.5% of annual profits to projects like the homeless, rain forests and social changes for peace, but keeps employees happy with free ice cream daily, free health club memberships and subsidized childcare. The top executive is also limited to earning seven times the amount made by the lowest paid worker (Sikula, 1996).
Ben and Jerry's cooperates with the community and local farmers for raw materials. By supporting small farm operations the company honors its focus on family and socially aligning sourcing. Milk and cream is purchased from St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, which agrees not to inject the growth hormone, rBGH into dairy cows as required by Ben and Jerry's. While the hormone is approved by the FDA and increases milk production, it also causes serious health problems for the cows. The hormone is already banned in Canada and the European Union.
Ben and Jerry's has also mingled passion and social responsibility into all aspects of the business including product development, human resources, plant operations and marketing. Company leaders keep the social impact of their decision making foremost in their plans, even if it means making a slim profit. The outcome of this philosophy has been incredible (Chang, 2001). In echoing the requirements of a satisfied employee as indicated by the Employee Satisfaction model, Chang stated, "People don't check their personalities at the office door and become automatons: Their performance is predicated on their feelings toward their work."
Richard Chang, who is CEO of a performance improvement ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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