Life on Mars

Any chocolate lover will be familiar with the names Marathon, M&Ms, Twix and many more household brands that emanate from the Mars factory. This giant of the confectionery world – the third largest privately owned company in the US – also owns the Pedigree and Whiskas pet food brands, and Wrigley’s chewing gum, and has world-wide distribution. What fascinated me about Mars as a company, when researching my series of lectures on Leadership, Teambuilding and Managerial Creativity, was their extraordinary record on employee satisfaction and loyalty. What makes it such a great place to work?

Image © Peter Town

One of the factors has to be their insistence on quality. None of their products is allowed to get through if it doesn’t meet the company’s exacting standards. And so employees take pride in their work, and they feel appreciated. Staff turnover is very low, and many employees are third generation Mars workers, or ‘Martians’, as they call themselves. Management encourage job-swapping and training, so there is plenty of opportunity for advancement. But maybe most important of all, Mars remains independent, which means no shareholders and no media interference. And that keeps Mars, and its staff, sweet.

Dig deeper –

How does it work in practice?
Managing the unmanageable
Creativity at the top