Friday, March 27, 2015

Mars Inc. named a leading employer for third year in a row

Photo courtesy of The Adventures 
of a Supermom (check out her great Dove 
FORTUNE recently released its annual list of 100 Best Companies to Work For, and for the third year in a row Mars Inc. was recognized as a leading employer in the United States. 

In an email, the corporate communications office said, "Mars is pleased to be recognized for its extensive learning and development training, community engagement and health & wellness programs. Other benefits of working at Mars cited by the list include open offices that are highly collaborative and perks of free candy, coffee/tea and being able to bring one’s pet to work."

The FORTUNE list also noted the high percentage of women in management positions with 40 percent of management positions being held by women across Mars. Mars was also recognized by Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business Awards as “Best Private Company” in 2014 for its ongoing commitment to becoming a sustainable business and making a positive impact to the planet.

The question at the local level is, what does it mean at the local level with the Dove Chocolate plant a prominent part of the Elizabethtown community? Thanks to the help from the corporate communications office, I was able to conduct an email interview with Site Director Carl Freeman.

Chronicling Elizabethtown: What is the workplace diversity like in Elizabethtown and how does it break down?

Carl Freeman: Elizabethtown, like all of Mars’ facilities, is proud to be a very diverse workplace which mirrors the community in which we live, work and operate. We have been credited with a high percentage of women in management positions with 40% of management positions being held by women across Mars.

Chronicling Elizabethtown: What kinds of volunteering do employees do that is eligible for time off?

Carl Freeman: Mars associates in Elizabethtown and all around the world seek to create mutual benefits for our business and the people and communities whose lives we touch. Associates have the opportunity to make a difference in the communities where we operate. We encourage and support involvement in efforts to improve lives and build lasting and meaningful relationships that make our company stronger. Our associates volunteer for local animal rescues, Wounded Warriors, Make-a-Wish, Molly’s Place, Relay for Live, community clean-up and the Elizabethtown Fair.

We also reward associates who make a difference in their communities, as well as those who demonstrate responsibility, excellence in line management, innovation and results. It is important to recognize the role associates play in improving our performance, because our business success is what enables us to create mutual benefits for others. We do this through our Make the Difference Awards. In addition, there is also The Mars Ambassador Program (MAP). This allows associates to spend anywhere from one to six weeks supporting projects run by one of our partner organizations, such as the Rainforest Alliance or World Wildlife Foundation, or a program initiated by Mars in partnership with local sites and communities. Associates can go alone or take part in group assignments, where teams of seven to 10 people travel and work together to increase their knowledge on a particular subject.

Chronicling Elizabethtown: Where do people in Elizabethtown have gym memberships?

Carl Freeman: We offer a free gym onsite for our associates which is leveraged by many of our associates.

Chronicling Elizabethtown: How many people are employed in Elizabethtown? Full-time? Part-time?

Carl Freeman: Our Mars Chocolate North America site in Elizabethtown is home to over 250 associates.

Chronicling Elizabethtown: Where are employees at the Elizabethtown plant from?

Carl Freeman: Many of our associates are local or from the surrounding area. Also, some associates have relocated to Elizabethtown from other Mars locations. We have a strong commitment to developing great managers and giving associates the freedom to explore other job opportunities throughout the Mars organization for training and promotion opportunities.

Chronicling Elizabethtown: How many people in Elizabethtown take advantage of the work-life balance perks?

Carl Freeman: The long-term wellness of associates is important to us. We provide tools and resources to help improve wellness and maintain a positive work-life balance. All associates are encouraged to make the most of these opportunities. We offer wellness initiatives that help us all stay healthy and provide access to good quality, affordable healthcare.

Chronicling Elizabethtown: What's the best thing about working in Elizabethtown?

Carl Freeman: All companies are different. But we like to think we’re a bit different than most. As one of the leading privately-owned businesses in the world, we enjoy unusual levels of freedom when it comes to how we operate. It allows us to do business in a free-thinking kind of way. We make it easy for good people to make great products. But we also do something more. What you get here is high levels of responsibility, a variety of possibilities and the opportunity to improve things for everyone else along the way.

Chronicling Elizabethtown: Can you give me some examples of how employees and the company have supported the community?

Carl Freeman: Our Elizabethtown associates are very engaged within the local community. This factory is proud to be able to donate candy to the local Halloween and Christmas parades, Elizabethtown College Homecoming parade, Elizabethtown Fair and local Chamber events throughout the year. In addition the factory gives all the associates the opportunity to various items, through onsite drives, to local food banks and pet shelters. This factory is also proud to support the Rotary Club, Kiwanis, Lions Club, Elizabethtown Fire and EMS and the Elizabethtown library.

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