Case Studies

Youfoodz: Christina King

Drawing on her diverse and successful background in manufacturing, insurance, retail, health and education over the past 21 years, Christina King joined YouFoodz in November 2018 and holds the role of Chief People Officer.

Established in 2012, YouFoodz is a leading Australian company which provides fresh ready-made meals, protein-packed snacks and cold-pressed juices via more than 4,000+ stockists.

Over the past four to five years in particular, the proud Brisbane based company has experienced incredible growth and now has over 800 staff members, including a production team of around 600.

To help with this period of growth, Christina’s team wanted to increase the leadership capability of the executives. The executive team were relatively new to the roles (many in the position for less than two years). The team identified that external leadership support would be beneficial to ensure the business continued to be significant in its value and output for all stakeholders.

As part of this process, Youfoodz engaged Executive Performance Partners to provide executive coaching for the seven executives, which included herself.

Watch Christina’s full interview here: YouFoodz: Christina King

Our Scorecard for Success

Each executive worked with the team at Executive Performance Partners to map out their individual scorecard for success. Christina’s scorecard had three clear objectives:

  • Build her professional confidence. She had held a number of executive roles over the past 10 years and was keen to build her confidence to be seen as an equal and valid contributor to the team, particularly when representing People and Culture.
  • Change the perception of People and Culture from an ‘administrative dictator, who hands out group hugs and hires and fires people, to a division which ‘drives value and contributes to the bottom-line with tangible KPIs in a business’.
  • Build leadership skill-sets to become an effective non-executive director.

Christina has fortnightly coaching sessions with the team at Executive Performance Partners and every alternative week she has a 15-minute check in call.

Within less two months of the partnership, Christina already started to notice a difference in herself and in her peers. She found a deeper sense of self-awareness among the team in their communication.
She also noted a number of key changes from the way she interacted with her team, to how she engaged with her colleagues and her real focus on ensuring that HR was seen as a valuable contributor to the business, rather than an operational cost.

The first step was via a technique she had learned from Executive Performance Partners called ‘sign posting’. It’s where you table what you are going to talk about in a clear and noticeable way, be accountable for the action and ask for direct feedback.

Christina instantly applied this technique to her weekly meetings with her CEO. She came ready and said, ‘this is what I want to achieve and why I want to achieve this.’ She then requested feedback. He reacted positively and very much supported this approach.

This boosted Christina to try a similar approach with the other executives. She emailed them all and asked, ‘can you provide feedback on how the People and Culture function can help you and your teams be as successful as you can be?’

They all responded equally as positive, and the result did two things: demonstrated the value-add HR can provide in an innovative company and, secondly, provided a new and interesting lens on where Christina’s team could contribute. A further added benefit of this approach was it saved Christina many hours as it was direct and provided instant clarity of her direction forward.

Christina has also introduced signposting to her team, particularly in relation to the value of recovery between peak periods. As a busy team who doesn’t work 9-5pm, Christina has focused on visibly supporting and encouraging the People and Culture team to recognise the importance of recovery, and to model this behaviour herself.

Outside of work, Christina also noticed her personal confidence, as an executive who had a valid and interesting viewpoint, to be boosted.
This extension of her professional confidence extended to her board position at Football Brisbane. Christina is the only board member who hasn’t got a football background, however, thanks to the training from Executive Performance Partners she has had the confidence to provide valuable input, drawing on her professional expertise and strategic leadership.

Christina had also noticed small changes within the other executives. All of the executives at YouFoodz had actively engaged in the partnership and were finding value, making changes per the coaching and adjusting behaviours in key areas.

These were the short-term results she had noted, however in 12 months’ time Christina hopes for the following:

  • Each executive to exceed their scorecard for success.
  • The executive team working as a cohesive unit which moves in situ,
  • Better results in success measures – culture scores, gross profit and customer scores,
  • Enhanced reputation for Youfoodz as a great employer, due to strong leaders

Executive Performance Partners are also working with Christina, within the People and Culture team, to implement internal leadership tools for prospective and existing leaders and 360 reviews.

Christina says:

“David (at Executive Performance Partners) has a real passion and enjoyment in seeing us succeed. He has a great habit of drilling through the cliches, jargon and methodology to apply practical applications which are tailored to what you require at the time.
Furthermore, and this is equally important, he’s an all-round good guy. Nothing is too much trouble; he is supportive and incredibly uplifting.

While they are helping each of us from one company, EPP truly have tailored their coaching sessions to suit each of the seven members of the executive team. While I can’t speak for the others, as that’s personal for them and their journey, I can tell that each of us are getting very different results and these results align to our individual Scorecard for Success.

I know his style would be different for the others, but I think across the board they would agree Dave is very encouraging and supportive.
The EPP team are all very flexible and tailor their approach and availability to what the client needs, which is beneficial in this environment.

When you invest in your people through time, professional development, mentoring or coaching, you show them you value them as an individual and want them to succeed in your company and further. The returns on that investment are incredible and improve their contribution to the company. This is further evidenced in our partnership with Executive Performance Partners as the value has been incredible to help us restack the stack.”

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