Posted: May 25th, 2022

Health and well-being of all Australians


Human Resource Management PBL exercise

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Human Resource Management

PBL exercise 1: Taking an HRM job

The cereal company Sanitarium is currently seeking an HR generalist. Sanitarium advertises itself as the company that transformed Australia’s eating habits, shifting the tastes of the national palate from traditional ‘fry-ups’ to more healthy whole grains at the breakfast table. “We were the first to introduce healthy and innovative breakfast foods and soy foods. We promoted plant-based eating before it became trendy, and offered well-being clinics in our cafes throughout Australia. In caring for the health and well-being of all Australians, we have created great breakfast cereal foods, soymilks, spreads and healthy vegetarian foods” (About us, 2012, Sanitarium).

Sanitarium’s flagship products include the popular wholegrain staple Weet-Bix, which is currently Australia’s best-selling breakfast cereal. Sanitarium emphasizes sustainability in its product offerings as well as good health. It has made a particular commitment to improving the health of Australia’s schoolchildren in the wake of the ever-expanding obesity epidemic. “Whether it’s Australia’s largest kids sporting event, the ‘Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon,’ the Good Start Breakfast Club for kids in need, or the free health and nutritional advice for all Australians, we’re here because we want to make a difference” (About us, 2012, Sanitarium). Its products are free of the types of additives that have been linked to children’s hyperactivity in some studies, and many of its products contain heart-healthy soy proteins as their base (Lifestyle, 2012, Sanitarium).

According to its employment advertisement, the human resources

Berkeley Vale manufacturing site manager requires an HR generalist background. The position, officially titled, ‘Human resource business partner’ will report to the manufacturing manager and “will deliver high quality HR support and advice to the site leaders and their teams. With one direct report your key focus areas include employee relations, recruitment, employee engagement, learning & development and change management” (Tuckwell 2012). Although the position is site-specific, the HR manager also has company-wide responsibilities, as part of Sanitarium’s integrated approach to its brand and manufacturing. Sanitarium is clearly a company that has a holistic vision and mission for its product and employees.

As well as a broad, generalist human resources and employment resources background, the position is also said to require “strong influencing skills,” in terms of motivating employees, and a high energy level (Tuckwell 2012). The position is supposed to be highly visible, and requires a self-starting personality. Candidates should also show “resilience and tenacity” (Tuckwell 2012).

Sanitarium attracts me good place to work at because it has such a clear vision and mission. It made a commitment to healthy, wholegrain foods long before such foods were trendy and popular. And what is perhaps even more surprising is that by ignoring conventional wisdom, the company has still managed to be astonishingly successful. Every Australian knows Weet-Bix, and I have often gone through long periods where I eat this product every day. Not only would I enjoy the work, but I also believe in the high quality of the product.

Of course, when a product is extremely successful, one question one must ask is if this success is likely to continue. If the market for the product is mature, will the company continue to grow? This is an important question to ask for a prospective employee who wishes to expand his or her personal prospects and develop as a worker at a company, not to have to look for a job in the next few years. But the issues and concerns that Sanitarium is addressing have become more, rather than less, central to the national consciousness. Sanitarium has made a long-standing commitment to addressing childhood obesity, and the Australian government and consumers have grown more concerned about these issues in recent years, given the escalating obesity rate amongst young people, nation-wide and world-wide.

There is also an increased interest by shareholders and consumers alike in ‘green’ companies that have environmentally-friendly attitude towards the planet. “Sanitarium values honouring, preserving and caring for our world. In keeping with this philosophy, we conduct our business in an environmentally responsible manner to protect the earth and its natural resources, which we share with all humanity” (Our environment, 2012, Sanitarium). Sanitarium makes a commitment to low-impact production and packaging, as well as to providing the healthiest products possible to consumers.

The position is also attractive because it is a high-profile position that allows the candidate to have input about the development of the company as a whole, not merely about minutiae. I believe I have the strength and charisma of personality to motivate employees, and also to ensure that the company’s values and vision are reflected in the advice I give about rewarding and recruiting top candidates. The company’s philosophy is expressed in the phrase, “it’s what’s inside that counts” (About us, 2012, Sanitarium). This is an unusual sentiment in today’s profit-oriented, rather than people-oriented working world.

As an HR manager, I also believe in the company’s attitude towards its employees — given that I would act as an advocate for employment recruitment and positioning tactics, it is essential that I am in harmony with its corporate philosophy. It supports the health and well-being of employees, just as it supports the health and well-being of consumers.

Sanitarium’s holistic approach to health is also manifested in its evident commitment to fitness, along with the dissemination of its products. As well as sponsoring a children’s triathalon, it also manufactures many high-protein meal replacement bars and shakes that athletes use to perform at their best, such as ‘Up&Go’ breakfast shake. On its website, it asks its customers to take the 10,000 steps challenge, to ensure that consumers get in the minimal required activity level every day (Lifestyle, 2012, Sanitarium). Given my own passion for fitness, I believe that I would be the ideal organizer of events to promote the brand and to advertise its commitment to fitness. I would also love to see employees take the 10,000 steps challenge every day, while working at the company.

I believe that I understand Sanitarium’s brand and philosophy, which would make me the ideal candidate to manage its continued success in the 21st century. I like to have input into how an organization functions, rather than merely act as a passive partner. Also, I think that I understand the challenge that Sanitarium faces in the future. Many other companies are ‘hopping on to the organic and healthy bandwagon,’ and advertising that they also sell whole grain products. Sanitarium’s brand approach must merge a sense of the classical and the forward-thinking at the same time: it must stress its history as a trusted product of Australian fitness-conscious consumers, and the ‘nostalgia’ factor rooted in the fact that so many Australians have grown up eating its products. But it must also continue to innovate. This requires choosing the right people through the recruiting arm of the HR department, and honing its image, technological innovations, and the packaging of its products to ensure that the brand does not grow ‘stale.’


About us. (2012). Sanitarium. Retrieved:

Lifestyle. (2012). Sanitarium. Retrieved:

Tuckwell, Monica. (2012). Human resource business partner. Retrieved:


Our environment. (2012). Sanitarium. Retrieved:

Human Resources Business Partner

Iconic Australian Owned FMCG Company

Central Coast Location

This is an exceptional opportunity to join the team that manufactures Australia’s favourite breakfast – Weet-Bix and Up & Go – in a role that can influence the frontline of the business.

As part of our Berkeley Vale manufacturing site management team and reporting to the site Manufacturing Manager, you will deliver high quality HR support and advice to the site leaders and their teams. With one direct report your key focus areas include employee relations, recruitment, employee engagement, learning & development and change management.

You will also be part of a wider HR network that requires your input into companywide initiatives that add value to the business.

You will need to have displayed the following attributes:

Demonstrated broad generalist HR & ER background

Strong influencing skills

Demonstrated credibility in delivering HR services

An energy level to work in a fast paced environment where resilience & tenacity has become a feature of your work

A pro-active, highly visible approach to HR

Appropriate qualifications in HR or related field

We are an organisation driven by our mission and values. If you share our passion for what we do, what we make and you are aligned with our Christian-based principles, this could be a great opportunity for you.

To apply, please visit our website: or click on the ‘apply now’ button.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have the legal right to work in Australia.

Applications close 24 February 2012.

Monica Tuckwell


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