How FrieslandCampina fosters integrity among 21k+ employees

FrieslandCampina, one of the world's largest dairy co-operatives founded in 1871, is renowned for its commitment to integrity and transparency. With a significant presence in 31 countries, they launched "Compass" in 2015, a program to instil core values of respect, integrity, and transparency among its employees.

Dairy and food processing
Company size
The Netherlands

In addition to acting as a guide for the principles of FrieslandCampina, Compass created a blueprint for the company to follow while developing a speak up culture. Our SpeakUp solution was implemented to support this effort.

We spoke with Vivianne Weehuizen, Senior Business Conduct Counsel, about integrating SpeakUp® into their 'speak up' culture and the change it brought.

The challenge of aligning core values to a speak up program

Compass was an initiative spearheaded by Vivianne Weehuizen. As FrieslandCampina’s Senior Business Conduct Counsel Speak Up, Vivianne manages the “Speak Up” program within the Business Conduct Team.

As part of her responsibilities, she oversees the program’s various aspects including communication, awareness training, process management, and policy documentation. This was part of a larger initiative to create a “Speak Up” procedure to deal with aspects of reporting misconduct and ensuring that best practices are adhered to across the business.

Compass encourages employees and other stake holders to speak up about behaviour not in line with FrieslandsCampina’s core values so that management can act on and improve the situation.

SpeakUp was chosen as the tool to support Compass due to it holistic balance between functionality and clarity, and that it goes beyond regulatory requirements in its offerings, providing FrieslandCampina with user-friendly, anonymous reporting options in 75+ languages.  

The results of providing employees a low-barrier method to speak up

Since adopting SpeakUp to support FrieslandCampina’s commitment to creating a supportive environment built on transparency and trust, how does FrieslandCampina ensure that Compass and SpeakU® are utilised properly?

Impact and signalling function

Speak Up's influence extends beyond addressing issues. It serves as a signalling function, highlighting trends and dynamics within the organisation. The progra triggers conversations with local management when specific topics generate many reports.

Biannual reporting provides insights, supplemented by engagement surveys and risk assessments. This information guides the selection of toolkit topics and areas requiring attention.

Balancing ownership and structure

The absence of structure and ownership in addressing reports can lead to randomness and inconsistent handling. Ownership and clear pathways are thus essential for an effective response to misconduct.

While other organisations might have different systems, the balance between functionality and clarity of SpeakUp resonates well with FrieslandCampina. Personalised customer services, a tailored dashboard and user-friendly features set it apart.

Cultural evolution and adaptation

FrieslandCampina embrace evolving societal expectations, fostering a culture where open dialogue and criticism are valued. The newer generation of employees value transparency and articulation, aligning with Speak Up's goals.

The program aligns with this cultural shift, facilitating a more open and effective reporting mechanism.

Alignment with regulations and independence

The organisation balances compliance with regulations and ensuring an impartial reporting process. Strategic decisions are made to handle certain cases at the head office to ensure independence and objectivity.

This approach respects the reporter's preference for a neutral environment, ultimately enhancing the quality and credibility of investigations.

Customer-friendly reporting options

The SpeakUp program goes beyond regulatory requirements, offering customer-friendly reporting options in different languages and prioritising the reporter's comfort. This approach underscores FrieslandCampina's commitment to creating a supportive environment that encourages transparency and trust.

A significant transformation through effective reporting

The SpeakUp program at FrieslandCampina exemplifies an integrated approach to maintaining organisational integrity and transparency. Rooted in core values, the program's evolution aligns with cultural shifts and regulatory compliance.

By balancing structure with flexibility, FrieslandCampina ensures an effective reporting mechanism that fosters open dialogue and safeguards its commitment to values and ethics.

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