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Case Study: Global v. Local Culture EVP at Lindt

Originally engaged to develop a Global EVP, our work gathered momentum. Over five years, the scope grew beyond the EVP to include development of Values, a behavioural framework to support the Values, recruitment, talent management, DEI strategy, and on-going support at Lindt’s international HR team conferences. The initial project has evolved into a long-term relationship working with both the global and local teams of a successfully evolving, decentralised business.

The original goal

Together with Lindt, we were initially tasked with creating a Global Employee Value Proposition (EVP) for a decentralised structure where there were already some local EVPs in existence. Discovering and pulling in all the existing data to create something that complimented what was already there and in use was the challenge. We needed to develop an EVP that everyone could buy into.

Lindt were clear about what they were looking for from the EVP, viewing it as a Talent Attraction and Retention strategy that would:

  • define a consistent image of Lindt’s global Employer Brand and competitive uniqueness, thus clarifying the answer to the question, Why join Lindt?
  • deliver a set of tools to enable consistent communication: with employees, candidates and the broader talent audience, supporting all-sized subsidiaries
  • illustrate an authentic representation of a Lindt employee’s overall work experiences, giving compelling reasons to join and stay
  • enable effective management of the Lindt brand, with a focus on development of a successful social media presence

What we did

It was important for the new EVP to support the three pillars of the business structure – the purpose, vision, and Values.

We created 5 Values using EVP research but also linking to the company’s unique heritage and the Lindt & Sprüngli  ‘Credo’. The 5 Values sit well with the three EVP pillars to make it easy for people to make the connections between Lindt’s Values and the EVP itself.

The next stage was to operationalise the EVP work – to bring the benefits through action. The EVP project led to Employer Branding – bringing the EVP to life through words and images to create a consistent look and feel which everyone at Lindt can communicate and champion. For this we created an Employer Branding toolkit for all the Lindt businesses to use, split into three clear sections:

  • How to explain the EVP, what Lindt stands for as an employer
  • How to express the EVP and bring it to life creatively through different channels, to different audiences, and for different purposes
  • How to experience the EVP by engaging with people across the candidate and employee lifecycle
What makes Lindt and Sprüngli a unique place to work?
For the context, please visit the Lindt & Sprüngli website Careers page:

We built on this firm foundation by providing frameworks and guides to support Lindt and its subsidiaries to foster and celebrate ‘excellence’ in the workplace, and so provide the unique work environment that sets Lindt apart – just like its chocolate!

Key project outputs

  • A global EVP and Employer Brand with guidelines on how to create materials that work around the world for diverse cultures and markets
  • A Values behaviour framework setting out expectations for employees, with examples of these expectations, and development support to feed into performance management and Lindt’s talent management process
  • Clear links between the framework behaviours and the recruitment process – providing interview questions to identify the sorts of candidates that will thrive in Lindt’s unique culture
  • A coordinated DEI strategy that brings all of this work together to move the business forward in an aspirational way

The difference we made

A consistency of approach globally, whilst retaining the independence of the subsidiaries; the inclusive nature of the work at Lindt was and continues to be inspiring – the creation of cross-company project groups, successfully persuading people to buy into the global project work and its outputs even though they run their subsidiaries as independent businesses.

The creation of a common goal and shared purpose across the teams really enabled us to collectively deliver an excellent result. For the first time, one language and a unique identification resonate across both candidate and employee lifecycles, providing effective resources for HR, recruiters, managers and employees.

A premium (excellence) look and feel to all Employer Brand communications used internally and externally.

Insights from the work highlighted areas of focus for the teams and helped to shape the people agenda, ensuring Lindt continues to deliver the best work culture. A firm foundation from which to continue to confidently grow and evolve knowing that the focus is on the things that matter most to their people.

“talentsmoothie… an inspirational collaboration

Talentsmoothie is a highly professional company — inspiring, and
always up to date on HR trends, with amazing people to work with. I
have worked intensively with Justine James for the past 5 years on very challenging but exciting change projects involving people and culture topics. We successfully achieved our objective to globally design and roll out an EVP programme, with a values and D&I framework, always with a very approachable, open, honest relationship. It has been an inspirational collaboration.
Cornelia Zeller — former Head Group HR,
Lindt & Sprüngli (International) AG

If you found this Values and EVP case study of interest and would like to know more about our work in Lindt & Sprüngli or discuss how a similar project might work for your organisation, call Justine James on +44 (0)7710 778961 or email her at

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