Mars is not a company of closed doors and rigid hierarchies. We value visible and approachable leadership at all levels. Associates are encouraged to discuss their work or concerns with any colleague at any time, while decision-making is collaborative and consensus is more important than authority.
Associates report on their experience of working at Mars through our Associate Engagement Survey, which is administered externally by Gallup. The survey's 12 core questions assess whether Associates feel equipped with the right level of knowledge, materials and opportunities; whether they feel listened to, encouraged, supported and rewarded; and whether they have opportunities to learn and grow. In addition, Gallup ranks companies on “follow through,” which measures their progress in creating a stronger, more engaged workplace based on the results of previous surveys. A high follow-through score at Mars has proven to be a great driver of Associates feeling involved, enthusiastic and committed to their work.
Our objective is to reach the highest levels of engagement, so this is felt in the day-to-day work of our Associates and helps our business grow. Our goal is to reach and remain at the 80th percentile of Gallup’s all companies database for both our overall score and follow through.
As a result of our Associates’ efforts, we have been awarded the Gallup Great Workplace Award four times, including in the last three consecutive years.
Our work with Gallup is helping to focus our development training for Mars leaders. Gallup research has identified “four needs of followers,” describing how people look to their leaders for stability, trust, compassion and hope. Understanding these needs is part of our General Manager School leadership program, led through Mars University.
Engagement Programs and Communication Channels
Our Engagement@Mars: Partners for Performance program helps Mars businesses to think about the impact that leadership has on Associates and understand how to improve engagement levels. We have trained more than 150 People and Organization Associates through this program.
Winning with Associates (WWA) helps us create a collaborative working culture. This program involves a two-day workshop designed to help sites clarify their vision and identify ways in which all Associates can be involved in improving their working environment. Workshops seek the contribution of as many different people as possible. We train Associates as facilitators and run WWA programs where they can help sites improve engagement levels.
We use a range of channels to inform and involve our Associates in company activities. We hold regular team meetings and town hall sessions with our President and Segment Presidents. These events are as much about conversation and questions as they are about providing information.
Our dotMars intranet provides information, facilitates dialogue and encourages collaboration. dotMars is a great forum for recognizing and celebrating the many ways our Associates make a difference in our business and communities. LCD screens throughout our offices and factories keep Associates, who do not regularly use computers, up-to-date.
It is fundamental to our business values to communicate directly with Associates and work together with them to resolve any queries or concerns. At the same time, we respect and work with unions and work councils in compliance with local national laws.
The Mars Ombudsman Program
While we encourage an open culture, sometimes Associates prefer to get advice confidentially. In these cases, our Ombudsman program provides every Associate with an independent and confidential channel of communication. We report on calls to the Ombudsman in our Principles in Action Summary.