Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
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Artalejo's Leadership Impact: Griffith Foods' Total Rewards Overhaul and Embracing Constructive Conflict for Success


Henry Artalejo, the current Senior Vice President of Global Human Resources at Griffith Foods, shares a surprising revelation early in his discussion with Hispanic Executive. With a career spanning over twenty-five years in various sectors such as telecom, retail, basic ingredients, and luxury chocolates, Artalejo, known for driving HR success globally, challenges the conventional perception of HR professionals.
Artalejo dismisses the cliché response of loving people when asked about the motivation behind choosing HR, stating that such an answer prompts him to move on to the next candidate. As the conversation unfolds, Artalejo's unique perspective becomes apparent. He approaches problems and challenges in an unpredictable manner, diverging from the conventional approaches often associated with HR roles.
According to Artalejo, the key to navigating the tough decisions inherent in HR roles lies in the ability to detach emotions from professional choices. While acknowledging his own empathy, particularly evident in his discussions about his five-year-old daughter Liv, Artalejo emphasizes the importance of balancing empathy with the pragmatic requirements of HR leadership. He recognizes the challenge faced by many in HR, a delicate dance that can hinder career progression and emotionally exhaust even the most compassionate individuals.
Artalejo's substantial tenure in various organizations, averaging around seven years, reflects his commitment to understanding businesses, addressing pain points, and optimizing the potential of their workforce. This extensive experience allows him to execute significant projects and leave a lasting legacy of success.
Currently serving as the SVP at Griffith Foods since 2019, Artalejo aims to instill uniformity in an organization that historically operated with a decentralized model. Tasked with developing a comprehensive people strategy, including well-being, talent management, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, human capital management, compensation structures, and development planning, Artalejo frames the internal architecture of the strategy under the acronym TODC—representing Talent, Organization, Development, and Culture. His leadership focuses on building a legacy of success and transforming Griffith Foods into a more strategically aligned and cohesive entity.
“We’ve made great progress, especially when you consider that much has been done in the middle of a pandemic,” he says. “I think part of that progress is because I didn’t have to fight for a seat at the table. The leadership knew that HR needed to be a critical part of the decision-making team.”
However, the most significant development is yet to unfold, as Artalejo has recently embarked on a comprehensive restructuring of Griffith Foods' total rewards framework. To execute this overhaul, the HR team has engaged an external partner to assist in addressing various aspects, including market-based pricing and job architecture.
Artalejo takes pride in having built an HR organization that exceeds expectations in its impact. Central to his leadership philosophy is the concept of cocreation, fostering a collaborative commitment to achieving greatness with like-minded individuals who share a common objective.
"Cocreating holds immense importance for me because it establishes joint ownership," emphasizes the Senior Vice President. He encourages his team to broaden their perspectives beyond regional responsibilities, urging them to see themselves as integral members of the organizational HR leadership team.
Another noteworthy aspect of Artalejo's leadership style is his emphasis on conflict. He actively encourages constructive conflict, viewing it as a catalyst for better business decisions and outcomes. Contrary to the conventional perception of conflict between individuals, Artalejo sees it as an integral part of the decision-making process—where one idea conflicts with another. His role is to create a supportive environment for such feedback, ensuring that issues are addressed rather than targeting individuals, ultimately bringing problems to the forefront during discussions rather than after the meeting.
While this approach may seem provocative, it aligns with what has made Artalejo feel more at home at Griffith Foods than anywhere else in his career.
“Every place likes to say that they’re a family, but this is the first place I’ve been where my CEO and chairman know my husband and daughter, will give her a hug, and talk about the business,” said Artalejo.
“I did not know what that was like until I came here. That is more important than anything and a living example of one of our values—Act Like Family.”