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The recipe for great culture and wellbeing starts with leadership

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For Julie Digby, vice president of people and organisation at Mars, workplace wellbeing starts with leadership.

What do you love about your job?

I love seeing people develop and then get a promotion. I joined HR three years ago, from sales and procurement (within Mars), and love the strategic impact HR has on the business.

Wellbeing in the workplace: where should we begin?

Treat wellbeing as a change management project, it has to start with leadership. It’s about changing attitudes and behaviours.

We’ve implemented training programmes to inspire physical and mental wellbeing, and we have dedicated programmes for line managers.  

Can you give us an example of an initiative at Mars?

Mars UK (Mars Petcare, Mars Food and Mars Chocolate) takes part in the Virgin Pulse Global Corporate Challenge. Organisations across the globe compete on a physical level over 100 days.

In 2015, the goal was to hit at least 10,000 steps a day; 2016’s challenge was geared to which company could cycle furthest.

It creates competition, collaboration, and changes habits; of the 89% of staff who took part in 2015’s challenge, 68% said they would make long-term lifestyle changes.

What is the recipe for a great culture?

Mars introduced our ‘Five Principles’ in 1983, and they are key to our culture, we strive to live by them.

They guide our business decisions and unite our organisation across countries, languages, cultures and generations, so that we have stronger relationships with customers, business partners, communities and each other.

How can we take forward the wellbeing agenda?

Our challenge now is to find out what each of the five generations we have in the workplace want from their careers, and what work-life balance means to them. It’s about setting the right culture to enable your employees to be the best they can be; that leads to business success.

Sarah Clark

By Sarah Clark


Online features editor at Changeboard



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