General Mills UK General Mills UK Employee Wellbeing Strategy
This organisation, which produces brands such as Haagen- Dazs, Old El Paso, Green Giant and Betty Crocker, has carefully aligned its business strategy of “Nourishing lives” and “Bringing food to life” to its benefits strategy, which is “Bringing employee wellbeing to life”. It aims to help its 150 employees directly with their health, as well as make their lives more enjoyable.
Despite being a small organisation, it regularly surveys staff and speaks to its Vision & Values team to understand what new benefits staff would value. It also benchmarks its benefits against those of its competitors and scouts for new ideas to implement.
The firm has implemented health and wellbeing strategies that lead to healthier lifestyles, such as increased physical activity, improving diets, giving up smoking, and nutritional advice. It has also looked at the work environment and created a chill-out zone, where mobile phones are banned so staff have a place to be quiet. Other benefits include free Haagen-Dazs products, filtered water, Nature Valley snack bars, free parking, company car allowance, relaxed dress code, long-service awards, comprehensive pension scheme, bonuses, special achievement awards, Christmas parties for staff and children, and charity and community work.
These strategies have contributed to a drop in staff turnover, from 19% in 2005 to 10% in 2008. Productivity – a measure of business performance – is also high, with General Mills outperforming the market by a factor of two.
Pictured (from left): Helen Branscombe, employee services manager, and Michelle Meldrum, HR advisor. Branscombe said: “The key thing for us is listening to our employees and sticking to company values – such as integrity and care.”
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