General Mills has been making food products for 150 years and is the 6th largest food producer in the world. Consumers recognize General Mills as the makers of Gold Medal flour, Cheerios cereal, and Betty Crocker cake mixes. But General Mills also produces Progresso soups and even the organic lines, Muir Glen and Cascadian Farms. Internationally, General Mills provides other products to 130 countries. Employees recognize General Mills as a positive place to work because of the company’s commitment to a strong ethic of service, achievement, and integrity.
General Mills encourages its employees to volunteer and gives five percent of every pre-tax dollar to charitable organizations. While taking care of communities, General Mills also takes care of its employees with benefits ranging from corporate childcare to a generous vacation package and flexible hours. Because employees feel valued and inspired, General Mills enjoys a very low rate of employee turnover. For more than 100 years, General Mills has been dedicated to enriching people’s lives.
General Mills stands by its commitment to championship brands, championship people, championship innovation, and championship performance. The company develops superior products designed to make consumers’ lives “easier, healthier, and more fun,” (General Mills, Values, n. d. ) General Mills endorses a philosophy of community action, corporate social responsibility, and integrity. Since 2000, the company has donated five percent of its pre-tax profits to charitable organizations. In 2009, General Mills gave more than $90. million dollars to support education, food banks, and overseas development. For example, through General Mill’s ‘African Women and Children’s Hunger Project, experts share food growing technologies with villagers in Africa. 15,000 villagers now have access to grain processing equipment and 20,000 villagers have improved access to water for crop irrigation. General Mills’ culture of philanthropy extends to its employees. Over 82% of the company’s volunteers report volunteering to their organization of choice or one supported by General Mills.
Additionally, General Mills encourages charitable contributions by matching employees’ donations, dollar for dollar, to nonprofit groups. They have given millions of dollars to support education, food banks, and the arts. In 2009, Forbes magazine ranked General Mills as the 4th most respected company in the United States and the 11th most respected company in the world. General Mills uses innovative strategies worldwide to reduce its environmental footprint, starting with its product packaging. The paperboard used for General Mills’ cereal is made from 100 % recycled paper, and has been for decades.
The company is working toward reducing energy use by 15% and greenhouse emissions by 20% in the next year. General Mills has also set tough goals for creating healthier food products. Almost every product line is undergoing research and redevelopment to produce products that include more whole grains and less salt and sugar. General Mills believes in conducting business with integrity. The code of conduct report outlines the company’s belief in maintaining the highest standards of quality in relationships, products, and conduct.
The report states that the company will treat people fairly, keep its promises, and maintain the trust of consumers and investors. General Mills requires employee adherence to careful management of finances and assets, compliance with all local, national, and international laws, and the avoidance of conflicts of interest. General Mills has 30,000 employees worldwide and is the 6th largest food company in the world. With operations in over thirty countries, General Mills values a diverse workforce and has a strict no-discrimination policy.
The company seeks talented, bright employees from many backgrounds. Additionally, General Mills places value on creating community partnerships throughout the world. Through respectful communication and an appreciation for different customs and cultural practices, the company has forged positive business and community relationships worldwide. General Mills is publicly held and includes a board, stockholders, and managers. The Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, Kendall J. Powell joined the company in 1979 as a marketing assistant.
Over the years, he took on increasingly responsible positions and is an example of the company’s commitment to developing its employees. Additional employees come from a variety of backgrounds, including marketing, health and nutrition, finance, production, research, and communications. General Mills ranked 155 on the Fortune 500 list of the best companies to work for and holds position 90 on Fortunes 1000 best companies to work for in 2010. This is up nine positions from 2009. The average annual pay in the most common professional job is approx $46,200.
Not only is General Mills recognized by respected financial reporting businesses such as Fortune, but is highly regarded as a great place to work by its employees. One fact that supports the idea that General Mills is a great place to work is the company is named on Fortunes “Top Company: Low Turnover” list that includes companies with a 3% voluntary leave during the past 12-month period. With such a low turnover rate, the first question that comes to mind is “What makes this company so great? ” One important factor may be that the company has several attractive family-friendly benefits.
Recently the infant-care center at headquarters was expanded by 43 percent, and the company subsidizes 25 percent of infant care costs. This fact alone would certainly make this company an attractive choice to many family oriented workers. General Mills employs approximately 17,000 workers in the United States. General Mills reports that “employees who lead healthy, fulfilling lives are more likely to make a strong contribution in the work place. ” There are a multitude of factors that support this believe and contribute to the low turnover rate recognized and reported in Fortune.
Some of the supporting factors include: generous vacation time, paid holiday, and summer hour benefits. For example, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, headquarter employees are offered an option to work longer days Monday through Thursday and work a half day on Friday. Flexible work schedules and telecommuting when business conditions allow are available. The company also offers paid leave for new fathers and parents who are adopting children. General Mills has received many corporate recognition awards.
A few notable recognitions include: Fortune’s “America’s Most Admired Companies” and “100 Best Companies to Work for. ” General Mills has also received recognition by Working Mother magazine as “Best Companies for Woman of Color,” Business Week “America’s Top Givers” and Business Ethics “100 Best Corporate Citizens. ” Another important note is General Mill’s commitment to diversity may also play a major role in retaining employees for a longer period. General Mills published that they see diversity as a strategy rather than a policy. The company believes that his strategy gives them a global advantage as well as a competitive advantage when drafting and marketing products. Their commitment to this strategy is supported by the fact that they aggressively seek minority suppliers to provide the services that make their products possible. As part of this focus, they set minority business entrepreneur purchasing goals. They also develop relationships with national minority organizations and build employee support and development. With this in mind, I think it is clear that this company strives to stay focused on people.
They understand reinforcing values that are important to people through happy employees, good brands, innovation and performance, will result in long term commitments from their employees and long term profits from their customers. On May 16, 2007, before the Joint Economic Committee, Scott A. Weisberg, Vice President, Compensation, Benefits, and Staffing for General Mills Incorporated stated, “we strive to be a “cradle-to-grave” employer, which means we hire many of our employees at the entry level and hope they spend their entire career with General Mills.
We believe this continuity translates into performance and a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Our benefits package reflects this core philosophy – our benefits are imbued with incentives to encourage people to stay. Our defined benefit pension program is one of our principal vehicles to reinforce employee retention. ” This is the philosophy that drives General Mills motivational strategies, which have resulted in an employee retention rate doubled that of their competitors.
Their recruiting approach is to attract top candidates with the intention of keeping them for their entire working tenure to draw on their expertise as they evolve into mentors (Ziegler, 2009). General Mills acknowledges the success of the company is strongly connected to their employees. For these reasons, General Mills is one of the top companies to work for. When employees leave, especially long time employees, a significant loss of knowledge and experience leaves with them. The cost to search for and train new people is substantial.
According to Kelly Baker, vice president of Corporate Diversity for General Mills, “to attract and retain and keep those people very, very focused and productive we need to offer a place where they want to be (WCCO, 2008). ” General Mills achieves this by offering some of the most comprehensive benefit and incentive programs in the country. According to one employee, it was the benefits and incentives that attracted them to the company and has definitely keep them there (WCCO, 2008). Another employee commented about being more productive because of the on-site conveniences and concierge service (WCCO, 2008).
The benefits and incentives offered by General Mills create a workplace that motivates employees intrinsically and extrinsically. These benefits and incentives are designed to help employees achieve a balance between work and home life. The motivational techniques applied by General Mills gives the company the ability to create a flexible, inclusive, and challenging workplace, which in turn drives productivity and innovation. If General Mills has one area in which they can improve, it would be how long employees have to wait for promotions.
Low voluntary turnover is a double edged sword. The benefit of retaining employees is the knowledge base, work experience, reduced recruiting and training costs. The consequence is promotions are harder to come by because employees stay in the workforce longer. The risk to General Mills, they may see more voluntary turnover as younger workers decide to move on to companies in which the chance for promotion is more attainable. One approach General Mills could take is asking employees if there is a particular area of the company they are interested in learning.
For example, a person in human resources may be interested in learning about strategic planning. The human resources employee is matched to a mentor in the strategic planning department and begins training. Now the human resources employee has the opportunity to promote in either department. As General Mills continues to grow and expand internationally, their strong vision of community partnerships and service will help them adapt to economic and cultural changes. General Mills will continue to provide high quality foods to consumers while fostering a work environment that elicits high performance from every employee.
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