Case Study

PepsiCo: Power of Thank You Letters

 

Background


PepsiCo is a $150 billion company and one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies Their global portfolio includes 22 brands.


Indra Nooyi was named President and CEO of the company on October 1, 2006 and assumed the role of Chairman on May 2, 2007. She has directed the company’s global strategy for more than a decade.


She also serves as the chief architect of Performance with Purpose, PepsiCo’s promise to do what’s right for the business by doing what’s right for people and the planet.


It’s the company’s commitment to sustained growth with a focus on Performance, Human, Environmental and Talent Sustainability.


 


Opportunity


After realizing that her parents were responsible for much of her success, PepsiCo President and CEO Indra Nooyi began the tradition of writing thank you letters to the parents of her employees.


She says the parents of great leaders and employees rarely get credit for their work raising their children.


In the letters to parents, Nooyi writes to let them know their son or daughter’s impact at PepsiCo, praises them, and then ends the letter with “Thank you for the gift of your child to our company.”


Nooyi sends an average of 400 thank you letters each year.


Her unique act of gratitude opened a “floodgate of emotions.” Parents wrote back to her to say they were honored, and they shared their letter with friends, neighbors, and family.



Some of the employees told her, “‘My God, this is the best thing that’s happened to my parents. And it’s the best thing that’s happened to me.”



Outcomes


Nooyi’s thank you letters to her employees’ parents did two important things—they made her employees feel appreciated and their families feel proud.



Great leaders understand that employees who feel appreciated work harder and stay loyal to the organization.



A study by online career site Glassdoor revealed that more than 80 percent of employees say they’re motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work, compared to less than 40 percent who are inspired to work harder when their boss is demanding or because they fear losing their job.


More than half of those surveyed said they would stay longer at their company if they felt more appreciation from their boss.


Nooyi possesses a strong in-house approval rating of 75%, based on 1,800 anonymous employee reviews.



Sources:
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/01/why-pepsico-ceo-indra-nooyi-writes-letters-to-her-employees-parents.html
http://www.pepsico.com
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2016-11-23/the-david-rubenstein-show-indra-nooyi
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/19/appreciation-employees-work-harder-motivation_n_4302593.html