Brussels, 25 February 2014 - Mars Belgium wins this year’s award for Inspiring Culture at the Great Place to Work Awards. Moreover, the food company has been on the list of the top 10 “Best Employers in Belgium” each year since 2009 in the “fewer than 500 employees” category. Remarkably, Mars Belgium is one of the few companies in the top 10 with a production site in Belgium: the Uncle Ben’s factory in Olen. Mars Belgium is a family company with a unique and value-driven corporate culture which is translated every day into specific actions and transforms the company’s way of doing business.
The Inspiring Culture award is given by the Great Place to Work Institute, in cooperation with the Vlerick Business School. This award is given to a company with a clear mission and vision for the future that is being reached honestly and ethically, and where this is translated into day-to-day work.
Mars Belgium’s value-driven culture is steered by Five Principles: Quality, Responsibility, Efficiency, Reciprocity and Freedom. This corporate culture is crucial to Mars Belgium and is the leitmotif in everything the company does. Steve Axe, General Manager of Mars Belgium, confirms: “Corporate Culture is often seen a “soft value”, but at Mars we consider it to be “hard” value. Inspiring culture is not an ancillary product to us; we intentionally and continuously link it to our Five Principles. There is a real “Mars way” of doing business and a “Mars way” of working together in a cooperative spirit. The result is that our employees take pleasure in going for things wholeheartedly.”
100% satisfaction about unique conversation culture that provides alignment and engagement
Openness, responsibility and reciprocity are actively encouraged at Mars. “Join The Conversations” are organised every month. These are open meetings in the middle of the office during which employees and managers actively dialogue with each other. According to an international communications studies of June 2013 no less than 100% of employees felt well-informed thanks to these sessions and 84% of them felt that the possibility of giving feedback and asking questions was an absolute advantage..
Furthermore Mars Belgium motivates its employees by deliberately celebrating personal and joint successes and team achievements: 91% of employees agree these very initiatives as professionally rewarding and fulfilling.
Mars Belgium as an international talent pool for ongoing investment in people
94% of employees feel that they are given a lot of responsibilities and 86% of them are happy about the training and the courses on offer. One of the cornerstones of HR policy is the ongoing investment in educational courses and training. Every employee gets a Personal Development Plan (70/20/10): 70% is learnt through daily practice; 20% through others and peer buddying and 10% through educational courses and training sessions. Xavier De Buysscher, Plant Director of the Uncle Ben’s rice factory in Olen, explains: “At Mars there is a genuine, strong learning culture, not only with the Personal Development Plan and the official training at the Mars University, but primarily because we create a framework in which one can make mistakes within a learning and growth process. Taking initiatives and making the difference, both individually and as a team. That really provides fulfilment”
92% of employees are convinced that Mars makes a social contribution
Mars is committed to people and society. To this end, Mars not only creates many opportunities for its employees, but the food company is also involved at a social level with programme such as the Mars Volunteer Program and the Mars Ambassador Program. On 18 October 2013, 70 employees from the headquarters in Sint-Stevens-Woluwe took part in the re-planting of the “De Bombazijnen” orchard in Zaventem in the framework of the Mars Volunteer Program, the aim of which is to encourage employees worldwide to become involved in a local organisation. Every employee can take 2 days of leave to do so.