Interview mit Philip Behn, CEO von Imperfect Foods

Recruiting eingestellt

Heute sprechen wir mit Philip Behn, CEO von Imperfect Foods, über Auswirkungen der Pandemie und über seinen Umgang mit der Krise.

Imperfect Foods hat das Ziel, Verschwendung von Lebensmitteln zu reduzieren und gleichzeitig mehr Menschen Zugang zu gesundem und bezahlbarem Essen zu ermöglichen. Viele gute Lebensmittel werden nämlich entsorgt, z.B. Endstücke oder krummes Gemüse. Imperfect Foods kauft diese Produkte auf und liefert Boxen mit gesunden Produkten nach Hause. Ich habe Philip um das Interview gebeten, weil er und seine Organisation mit kreativen Ideen und transparenter Kommunikation auf die Krise reagieren. Und weil ich die Aktionen von Imperfect Foods so inspirierend finde, geht es hier heute nicht nur um HR-Themen.

Ausnahmsweise führen wir das Interview zweisprachig. Die Fragen stelle ich auf Deutsch, da Philip Deutsch spricht. Philip antwortet auf Englisch, da wir so die Veröffentlichung beschleunigen konnten.

So, jetzt aber genug der Vorrede. Vielen Dank, lieber Philip, dass Du Dir Zeit für das Gespräch nimmst!

EMPLOYERREPUTATION: Kürzlich habe ich gelesen, wie Euer Einkauf in dieser schweren Zeit Gutes tut. Erzählst Du uns von den „40.000 snack trays“? Worum geht es da? Warum war die Aktion wichtig?

#hrvscoronakrise: Interview mit Philip Behn, CEO von Imperfect Foods: Recruiting eingestellt

PHILIP BEHN: We created Imperfect Foods four years ago as a way to address the massive food waste problem that exists in the USA and other wealthy nations.  In the USA alone, 3 million tons of perfectly good food go uneaten every year.  We buy a portion of this food from farmers and manufacturers and sell it directly to our customers.  With most restaurants, hotels and airlines shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now looking at ways to redirect all that food that is stuck in those supply chains to customers who badly need it.  The 40,000 snacks that we recovered from an airline catering company is just one example of how Imperfect Foods is helping with food waste recovery during this crisis.

EMPLOYERREPUTATION: Ihr habt offen kommuniziert, dass es Schwierigkeiten mit der Auslieferung gibt. Was genau war das Problem? Wie kam es dazu? Wie habt Ihr kommuniziert und wie haben die Kunden darauf reagiert?

PHILIP BEHN: Operating during a pandemic is challenging.  The same changes to our life that affect people in locked-down cities also affect our employees.  Getting to work using public transportation is harder.  Dealing with childcare at home is harder.  And people are understandably afraid of leaving their homes to go do essential jobs like food distribution.  So, we’ve had to deal with staff shortages in our pack centers and also among drivers, which we are now overcoming with additional hiring and heightened health & safety procedures.  Whenever these things happen, it’s very important to be transparent with customers and employees.  We gain nothing from hiding the truth, and both customers and employees have reacted positively to our communications.

EMPLOYERREPUTATION: Wie schützt Ihr Eure Auslieferungsfahrerinnen und -fahrer vor Ansteckung?

PHILIP BEHN: We have rolled out strict social distancing rules for our drivers, both during the loading process of their vans and also when they are out for deliveries.  All drivers wear protective gloves when handling boxes, which they replace frequently.  They do not interact with customers when they drop off boxes and instead send them an SMS when the box has been delivered.  At the beginning and at the end of the route, our vans are sanitized, and our drivers thoroughly wash their hands.  We are deeply thankful for the thousands of drivers, packers, medical staff, cleaning staff and emergency personnel for keeping our communities safe and well during these challenging times.

EMPLOYERREPUTATION: Gibt es bei Euch Mitarbeiter, die positiv auf das Corona-Virus getestet wurden? Wenn ja, wie geht Ihr damit um?

PHILIP BEHN: So far, we have had no confirmed COVID-19 cases among staff or front-line employees.  But we are well prepared for an event like that.  Our first priority is the safety of our employees and our customers.  This means, anyone with symptoms or a confirmed COVID-19 test need to stay home for 14 days, receiving full pay and benefits from us.  We keep detailed track of the shift and production line everyone has been assigned to, and in case of confirmed COVID-19 exposure, we are able to stop, sanitize and restart the affected part of our operation.  Employees will be able to return to work once the conditions for operating are safe again.

EMPLOYERREPUTATION: Welche Maßnahmen habt Ihr noch ergriffen, um Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter zu schützen?

PHILIP BEHN: Our business cannot function without the dedicated service of our frontline associates, including all packers, drivers and production managers.  We work tirelessly to provide a safe working environment for these employees who cannot afford to do their work from home.  This includes implementing temperature and symptoms checks at the beginning and end of each shift, enforcing a 3-meter person-to-person separation rule, providing gloves and facemasks, mandating frequent hand washing and hand sanitization and restricting the use of common spaces like cafeterias and breakrooms to small groups.

EMPLOYERREPUTATION: Bestimmt haben viele Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter große Ängste und Sorgen. Sie fürchten nicht nur die Ansteckung, sie haben auch Angst um den Job. Wie geht Ihr als Arbeitgeber damit um?

PHILIP BEHN:  COVID-19 is taking a large emotional, social and physical toll on the population.  We are all experiencing fear, uncertainty and concern.  Most of our routines have been radically disrupted, and it’s natural to require some time to adapt to the new normal.  My job as CEO is to listen to our associates, acknowledge their feelings and offer comfort in the value of our work.  Food delivery companies like Imperfect Foods have found a new calling serving customers in need.  Making money or growing the business take a backseat to meeting the basic needs for food and safety in these challenging times.

EMPLOYERREPUTATION: Werden jetzt noch Mitarbeiter gesucht oder habt Ihr das Recruiting eingestellt?

PHILIP BEHN:  We are hiring more than 400 employees across our six pack centers and 25 markets in the USA.  Demand for online food delivery in the USA has increased dramatically, and we are working tirelessly to ramp up capacity to meet it.

EMPLOYERREPUTATION: Auch bei Euch sind Mitarbeiter als Eltern von der Schließung von Schulen, Kindergärten und Kitas betroffen. Wie geht Ihr damit um?

PHILIP BEHN:  Families have had to adapt to children being out of school and parents having to work from home.  This is challenging and, unfortunately, will be the new reality for many months.  100% of our non-operational staff is working from home, and we are accommodating flexible work schedules as well as encouraging various breaks during the day.  For now, the best defense against the virus is to support your immune system with sleep, exercise, and good nutrition.

Zur Person

Philip Behn, CEO Imperfect FoodsCEO of Imperfect Foods, where we are turning retailing on its head: building a beloved grocery brand, eliminating food waste and creating great jobs. Retail leader with 19 years of experience in food, eCommerce and consumer goods. Since moving to California in 2010, sponsor and promoter of Hispanic and Latino talent. Previously at Walmart, McKinsey, Gap and Coca-Cola. Husband, dad, skier, world citizen and lifelong learner.


Dieser Artikel ist ein Beitrag zur Bloggerparade #HRvsCoronaKrise.

Hier sind die zwei Vorhergehenden Posts zur Bloggerparade #HRvsCoronaKrise:

#HRvsCoronaKrise: Jetzt nicht abwerben!

Corona-Hilfen für HR – zwei Projekte, die ich persönlich empfehle