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Molson Coors Brewing Co

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            Molson Coors Brewing Co
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                 Management 341

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                12/4/2007

                David Kroll


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       Molson Coors Brewing Co. is one of the world’s largest breweries. They had

annual sales of $5.6 billion and produced a volume of 48,000,000 hectoliters in 2006

(http://www.molsoncoors.com/index.html). Molson Coors Brewing Co. employs an

estimated 10,200 people in three different regions of the world, the United State,

Canada, and the United Kingdom (http://www.molsoncoors.com/fact/index.html). In

the past decade, ethics have been forced to the forefront by companies like Enron,

WorldCom, Tyco, and others. Molson Coors has been proactive on the education of

ethics in their workplace. The company offers interactive online courses, ethics

leadership training, a decision map, a detailed set of policies, and a help line to all their

employees. Recently hire employees must complete an online course in ethics within

90 days. Molson Coors requires employees to take refresher courses every other year.

Early on there were sticking points with the unions and other employee groups. After

the program was better understood it was accepted.

       Molson Coors rewrote their code of conduct to make it more easily understood

by all their employees. They also created a web based training system to help

employees with real world situations and reinforce the key principals of ethics. They

call the program the “ethics expedition.” It begins with cut and dry issues and leads

into more vague ethical scenarios until the user completes the program by getting to

the top of the ethics mountain. “The goal of the program is to step beyond rules and

guidelines and teach employees how to think, clarify, and analyze situations. “ says

Warren Malmquist (Bohander & Snell, 2007) The firm focuses their ethics program on

prevention rather than investigation. Currently the Molson Coors ethics help line
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receives about 25 calls per quarter. (Bohander & Snell, 2007) Molson Coors believes

that the program has resulted in gains for the company.

       Ethics can have an effect on a company in a number of ways. Having good

ethics training can help businesses avoid lawsuits. Finding people who are on the same

ethical wavelength are your organization can help ease the addition of them into your

work force. Employee moral can also be affected by the hiring of ethical people

bringing together a more cohesive work environment. To reinforce your company’s

ethics into your work force, managers can add an ethical agenda into performance

reviews and evaluations. Managers can give their organization’s ethics a higher value

to employees by having the ethics program incorporated into the employee payment

structure. CEO’s and company leaders may apply the same principal to salary-based

incentives in their managers’ contracts to make sure that employees on a day-to-day

basis project their values.

       Ethics in business should begin from the ground up. Begin by evaluating a

company’s hiring process and practices. Companies should try to find candidates

whose’ values match the company. A method called personality matching can be

applied to your hiring practices you are going to find people who are a better fit for

your organization. Personality matching is a technique that can be used by people who

are interviewing for jobs. Personality matching is based on the halo effect, or the idea

that we like people who are like us (http://www.collegegrad.com/jobsearch/Mastering-

the-Interview/The-Personality-Matching-Technique/). The collegegrad website tells

prospective interviewees how to manipulate interviewing managers into feeling a
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connecting to them within minutes of meeting them. The site recommends that you

adjust your manner of speaking and the tone of your voice to match that of the

interviewer. However, you can adjust the technique to benefit the manager conducting

the interview. Rather than trying to find prospective employees who can match your

tone and cadence try to find employees whose personality matches that of the

company. If an organization can become efficient at identifying prospective employees

whose values match their own then the organization will spent less time and money

trying to teach or train new employees their system of values. The person-organization

fit is very important to a business that places a strong emphasis on its ethics.

“Companies such as Texas Instruments, Merck, Southwest Airlines, and Starbucks place

a high priority on selecting individuals who match the values and culture of the

organization. “ (Bohlander & Snell, pg 245) Bohlander and Snell further comment,

“…the need for teamwork and flexibility has created a keen interest in this type of

person-organization.” This may result in passing on candidates who have the required

skills for an open position but do not match the culture of your organization.

       Many businesses utilize personality tests during their interviews for their

prospective employees. Personality tests have been found to be good predictors of

motivation, such as their leadership effects and propensity to adhere to rules.

(Bohlander & Snell, pg 264) There are five dimensions that make up a person’s

personality. Those dimensions are extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness,

neuroticism, and openness to new experiences. The traits that might be most pertinent

to whether or not an employee may have the type of values you have are
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agreeableness and conscientiousness. Agreeableness is the degree to which someone

is trusting, amiable, generous, tolerant, honest, cooperative and flexible. (Bohlander &

Snell, pg 264) The most valuable element of agreeableness as relates to ethics is

honesty. Being honest is a good step toward being ethical. Conscientiousness is the

degree to which someone is dependable and organized and perseveres in tasks.

(Bohlander & Snell, pg 264) Having a conscientious employee would aid their ethics in

their dependability and their ability to persevere. While personality tests can be

valuable tools to an organization, you must be very careful that your personality test

does not inadvertently discriminate against individuals who would otherwise perform

effectively. (Bohlander & Snell, pg 264) Having all your employees on the same page

as far as ethics goes may help improve employee moral.

      Molson Coors uses “ethical tools” to help employees understand what they want

in terms of ethical standards. Molson Coors has an ethical hotline, a decision map, an

ethics computer-training module, and a user-friendly code of conduct that employees

are tested on every other year. Having ethical employees who proactively try to

eliminate problems in their daily work will help Molson Coors avoid many possible

lawsuits. The system is currently set up to avoid or stop ethical issues as quickly as

possible before they blossom into bigger issues. This differs from many organizations

who have an investigation based system that waits for the ethical issue to be breeched.

Molson Coors employees are trained using a reader friendly code of conduct so they are

aware of all of the rules and they are then tested on the ethics code using real world

situations and problems. Molson Coors system teaches not only the rules and their
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application but teaches their employees a thought process that helps them reason

through the experiences they will encounter in everyday work life. The employees will

not only be able to fall back on the factual part of their training but will also have a

thought process to go through when an unfamiliar situation occurs. The fact that

Molson Coors has such a strict code of ethics and easy to use system to get the

message to employees, will most certainly decrease the likelihood of the company

becoming involved in litigation related to ethical breaches. The fact that they have a

multi-tiered system that has documented steps throughout the process will help them

win cases or have cases thrown out more frequently than an organization that has no

documented process for dealing with ethics issues. While this may not solve all

problems it helps a great deal.

       Once a business has hired the right type of person and trained those people the

organization must find ways to entice employees and managers alike to follow the

ethical guidelines on a daily basis. One way to do this is to use the pay-for-

performance standard of compensation. Pay-for performance is a standard by which

managers tie compensation to employee effort and performance. (Bohlander & Snell,

pg 398) Pay-for-performance standard of compensation serves to motivate employees

to perform with a larger effort, which results in lower labor costs for the employer.

Most employees believe that their compensation should be directly linked to their

relative performance. (Bohlander & Snell, pg 398) With this in mind, there needs to be

a way to link the company’s ethical behavior to the employees’ ethical actions and

compensate them accordingly. It would be a much better tactic to reward positive
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behavior than to punish employees for complacent behavior. It benefits the

organization a great deal to have the employees view the payment link to ethics as a

reward for being ethical rather than have the workforce view the payment link to ethical

behavior as a possible punishment. When the payment plan is seen as a negative,

employees will be trying to avoid being penalized for being unethical. When the

payment plan is viewed as a reward for being ethical, employees will go out of their

way to make ethical choices and go the extra mile for the company, rather than just

trying to avoid possible consequences. It is important for human resources and the

managers to make this distinction clear from the moment they hire new employees so

as not to create a poor view or the compensation package. This payment scale may

also help to boost employee moral because rewards are always on the horizon rather

than employees looking back over their shoulders for possible pending punishment and

lower pay.

       The pay-for-performance compensation package will have to rely heavily on the

employee evaluations. The employee evaluations must have strategic relevance, which

means the evaluation must relate to the strategic objectives of the company. It will be

difficult to write positive standards that judge employees fairly. The most likely

standards regarding ethics would be based on negative feedback from customers or

other employees. It is important to leave no gray area in the performance appraisal.

In the court case of Albemarle Paper Company v Moody, the supreme court ruled that

the employees had been ranked against a vague standard, open to each supervisors

own interpretation. (Bohlander & Snell, pg 354) The court further said that because
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there was no clear of knowing what criteria of job performance the supervisors were

using or whether each supervisor was using the same criteria. (Bohlander & Snell, pg

354) The U.S. Supreme Court deemed these standards unfair, so when setting

standards for something that is not easily measured like ethics be sure to set clear and

concise standards that are valid to the company’s goals. If your organization is small

enough it may be beneficial to have one person do all the evaluations so that everyone

is being judged to the same standard and then have someone review that work.

Regardless of size it is critical to have well defined standards of appraisal.

       Having good ethics can benefit an organization in many ways. The business may

help it self avoid litigation. They may help build a tight knit group of employees.

Companies will have to entice employees to follow their ethical standards with a

payment plan that promotes positive ethical behaviors. The company will have to

devise a specific and concise set of standards to evaluate employees’ ethical conduct.

They will also need to have a set of managers that full understand these standards and

apply them in the same manner to all employees. If the human resources department

can set the standards correctly and find managers to apply the standards to the

company, a business can achieve all the benefits that come with an ethical business.




                                       REFERENCES
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   Bohlander & Snell (2007)

       Managing Human Resources

   http://www.collegegrad.com/jobsearch/Mastering-the-Interview/The-Personality-

    Matching-Technique/



   http://www.molsoncoors.com/fact/index.html

   http://www.molsoncoors.com/index.html