Protecting our Associates safety and livelihoods at work
Preventing the spread of the virus is paramount. That’s why we have put additional protocols and safety measures in place for our Associates.
Since early 2020, we’ve placed restrictions on travel and meetings and have tens of thousands of Associates working from home. We have also restricted visitors to all our sites with exceptions only for people critical to operations, or to the safety of Associates, pets or products. In essential facilities, like factories, labs and veterinary hospitals, new health and safety procedures have been put in place, including social distancing, health screenings, additional site cleanings and strict use of personal protective equipment.
We also have strict procedures in place for how to handle our clients and their pets in our 2,500 veterinary hospitals around the world. Where available, we offer teleconsulting or tele-triage services to pet owners and encourages them to utilize “curb side” drop-off appointments for their pets.
We’re providing peace of mind by putting pay and benefit continuity principles in place. We have continued to provide income and benefits to all Associates, even those who needed time off due to illness, quarantine, temporary site closures or reductions in working hours.
Increasing health benefits and wellbeing resources for our Associates
We’re aware of how many new challenges this pandemic is presenting for our Associates and their families, and yet each of our Associates is living a unique situation with its own complexities. So we’ve added benefits, wellness programs and have established new ways for Associates to directly reach resources for support and assistance in order to help them manage these new stressors and stay safe and healthy – both mentally and physically.
We have helped prevent and reduce pandemic pressures by rapidly shifting to work from home, reducing travel and implementing safe systems of work at open facilities that have reduced our infection rates to well below those of the communities in which we operate. This includes protecting our workplaces through social distancing efforts such as marking paths on the floor and piloting the use of social distance sensors in our factories.
We have reduced economic and health care pressures by establishing a global pay protection policy and implementing solutions such as increasing sick pay, augmenting leave policies, supporting child/dependent care, expanding flexible working policies, offering supplemental compensation and enabling more flexibility in holiday carry over.
We helped Associates build new skills to work remotely and manage their energy, resilience and wellbeing through virtual workshops – and made core changes to ways-of-working through “Meet Smarter,” a proprietary Mars tool that shortens default meeting times to provide 5-10 minute breaks each hour.
We’re also investing in Associates’ overall resilience through a wide range of resources — including the global expansion of our Associate Assistance Program (AAP) to 58 new countries. Today, 57 percent of people are experiencing greater anxiety. That’s why we’re truly committed to breaking down mental health stigma and ensuring we all get the support we need. With the AAP, our Associates are offered 5-8 confidential counselling sessions per issue free of charge to them and *members of their household.
We’ve also made significant efforts toward detecting people, teams, and sites that are at risk through enterprise surveys and digital health tools – which help better connect people to resources.
We have bold ambitions as a business, and the only way to achieve those goals is through our Associates. We hope to create a sustainable culture shift within Mars that promotes wellbeing and makes the healthy and energizing choice the easiest choice.