Employee Retention of General Mills -
April 9th, 2011
General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) is an American Fortune 500 corporation, primarily concerned with food products, which is headquartered in Golden Valley, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. The company markets many well-known brands, such as Betty Crocker, Yoplait, Colombo, Totinos, Jeno's, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Häagen-Dazs, Cheerios, Lucky Charms and Wanchai Ferry. Their brand portfolio includes more than 100 leading U.S. brands and numerous category leaders around the world.
I’m particularly glad to be here because the subject of elder care has been of interest to
General Mills for some time. Back in the 1970s and 80s, we recognized there had to be a
middle ground between the elderly living at home and being moved to a nursing home.
Our foundation invested in a series of assisted living programs to provide both housing
and health care for seniors. The result was Altcare, and seven alternative senior living
facilities, which are still being operated today by Volunteers of America.
Today, I’d like to share why elder care is still important to General Mills, how we support
employees who are wrestling with work-life issues, and offer some insight into what
employees and employers might value in the future.
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. We also offer a 401(k) program with a
company match that varies depending on the company’s performance, as well as health
insurance for our retirees.
This focus on retaining talent is more important than ever because the “War for Talent” is
heating up. In the past, the college graduates we hired for entry-level positions were
receiving two competitive offers, on average (in addition to ours). Today they are
receiving five offers, on average. And we expect in the near future they may be receiving
seven or nine offers.
Another implication of a hot job market is that executive recruiters – knowing our
reputation for hiring and developing superior talent – have targeted General Mills to hire
away our employees. We’ve recruited and invested in these employees’ development, so
it’s in our interest to retain them. And that’s where our philosophies regarding employee
benefits come into play.
However, over time we have come to realize that pay, benefits and career development
alone aren’t enough to retain employees. As a result, we also offer a variety of work-life
policies and programs that also help make General Mills a great place to work. We know
our employees value these programs, and we’ve been recognized by several independent
organizations for them:
• “Best Companies for Working Mothers” from Working Mothers magazine.
• “100 Best Companies to Work For” from Fortune magazine.
• “Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles” from the National Business Group on
• “America’s Most Admired Companies” from Fortune magazine.
Going forward, we believe this kind of employee support is only going to become more
important. That’s the context in which I would like to focus my comments on elder care.
Today, people are living longer and that means two things: Our employees will be
helping to take care of their parents longer and they may also keep working longer to
ensure they have the resources to provide for themselves and their parents.
General Mills was named the top workplace among large publicly held companies in the United States' Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, based on an employee-based survey project from the Star Tribune.
The Minneapolis newspaper's Top Workplaces special section was published on Sunday, June 20. Top Workplaces recognizes the most progressive companies in the Minneapolis, Minn., metro area.
The honor is based on employee opinions about company leadership, career opportunities, workplace flexibility, compensation and benefits. The analysis included responses from more than 33,000 employees at Minnesota public, private and nonprofit organizations.
“General Mills, which ranked first among the large publicly held companies and second overall, is a perennial winner of workplace awards from national publications such as Fortune, Bloomberg Business Week and Working Mother magazine,” said the newspaper in its article announcing the awards.
The General Mills world headquarters is located in Golden Valley, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis.
Fortune magazine ranks us as one of the 100 best companies to work for in the United States, and BusinessWeek has tabbed General Mills as one of the best places to launch a career.
We're the sixth-largest food company in the world – and you know our brands. They are names that you grew up with, such as: