Overcoming Challenges at Olam

Olam is a leading global food and agriculture business supplying food, ingredients, feed and fibre worldwide. It has built a strong leadership position in many sectors such as farming, buying, processing, sales and operations in over 60 countries.

Olam had very few opportunities for open, two-way communication.

This restricted its ability to effectively engage with a diverse, global workforce. There was also an increasing need to transform the organisation’s culture as they underwent a reorganisation – to become transparent, inclusive and accessible – to retain and attract top talent.

Workplace is a real-time and mobile-first platform. It has become a one-stop shop for Olam employees and has formed the basis of its COVID-19 internal communications strategy. Olam is now able to bring together its workforce around the globe, ensuring constant engagement with employees during a period of change. Moving beyond the pandemic, Olam sees Workplace as an essential tool as it shifts towards a hybrid work strategy.


"I can’t imagine how we would have communicated during this pandemic if we didn’t have Workplace. We wouldn’t have been able to maintain engagement and keep our people together across 60 countries."

Dev Sarkar
Group Head of Employee Communications and Engagement, Olam


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Enabling workplace health and wellness

Using Workplace to conduct Pulse surveys, the employee communications and HR leaders found that employees were concerned with their wellness and productivity. Olam subsequently ran themed monthly campaigns to tackle these concerns, creating content and inviting experts to conduct Live sessions and workshops in different Groups.

Demonstrating visible and authentic leadership

Olam used Live video sessions hosted by its CEO and executives so employees could ask questions that were top of mind. Fortnightly videos from executives kept employees updated on crisis response efforts, community support and how COVID-19 was impacting the organisation. This helped ease anxiety while boosting leadership visibility through more authentic communication with the organization.

Communicating effectively during a crisis

Olam created a COVID-19 Announcements Group to share information with colleagues, such as global and local health advice, important announcements on preventive measures, COVID-19 success stories and mental health resources.

Boosting morale through employee recognition campaigns

To boost morale, the employee communications team ran a peer-to-peer recognition campaign. This allowed people to celebrate team members who went the extra mile for colleagues, customers and the community in response to the pandemic. This campaign saw a very high level of engagement.

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Read more about how Olam connected their global teams with Workplace.