Kellogg Mexico Opens New Doors for Disadvantaged Youth
In Mexico, an estimated 2.6 million young people between the ages of 18 and 29 lack the opportunity to go to school or secure steady work. This leaves a huge opportunity for companies like Kellogg to create pathways for disadvantaged youth, who might otherwise be forced into organized crime, instead of rewarding and stable careers.
In 2019, Kellogg became one of the first companies to join the Mexican government’s Jóvenes Construyendo el Futuro (JCF), or “Youth Building the Future” program. The program consists of 12 months of training within a company, with the opportunity to be hired during or after the training period. Kellogg plans to recruit close to 40 JCF participants into roles in the sales, administration or warehouse business units by the end of the year.
“History tells us that people with this background were being relegated to certain positions in other companies just because they didn’t have the right background,” said Aldo C. Regional Customer Development Sr. Manager. “I’m a young person myself and I’m sure that these young people deserve the opportunity to have a space in companies like Kellogg.”
The program has made a significant impact on diversity with the participating business units. For example the Jóvenes hires in Aldo’s business unit, which was 80% males with an average age of 28, are mostly women under the age of 25.
“It’s been a hit of reality,” Aldo said of the program. “Maybe we sometimes forget about other people when we are at the office.”
The increase in diversity has also impacted the business by bringing new ideas to the table. “With the knowledge and perspective from people who live in different circumstances than some of us, we can also expand how we think about where to sell our product,” said Aldo.
The Young Professionals B/ERG played a crucial role in orchestrating the program and onboarding new hires with thoughtful communication materials. “When we designed the materials for the JCF program, we never lost sight of our main goal, which was to give them a heartwarming welcome that could make them feel just as we felt on our first day in the company,” Aldo added. “We wanted them to know they are part of our Kellogg Family now.”
“It’s going to transform this organization in more inclusive ways and a better place to work for them.”
#LifeAtK Uses the Power of Storytelling to Support Diverse Recruitment
Just as every person has a story to tell, so does every company. Kellogg’s diverse workforce has helped create a collaborative and unique company culture with its own story of progress, change, and perseverance. However, many inspiring stories from within Kellogg fail to reach an outside audience.
Rex P, Employer Brand Manager, focuses on finding new ways to better tell Kellogg’s Diversity & Inclusion story through those that know it best – the people of Kellogg.
Rex, who first started with the company as a student intern, and his team run the #LifeAtK blog for the Kellogg Careers website. The blog features personal narratives and interviews from Kellogg employees across the globe. The blog, which launched earlier this year, has included many stories that showcase the company’s Diversity & Inclusion efforts in an authentic way. These inside glimpses, says Rex, allow people to get a closer look at Kellogg’s culture.
“People really want to know what it is like to work within a company,” said Rex. “They want to know that they will work with people that care about the same things they care about.”
Past stories on the blog include an interview with the co-chairs of the Kellogg African-American Resource Group, the journey of creating the first Down Syndrome Talent Show in West Michigan, and a story by a member of the corporate writing team on how she rose above hearing and visual disabilities.
With the help of our Business Employee Resource Groups and other internal teams, Rex and his team have been working throughout the year to collect stories that represent a variety of backgrounds, career functions and locations. He says that by casting a wide net, the range of stories paint a genuine and exciting picture of Kellogg.
“Not every #LifeAtK blog will resonate with everyone,” he said. “But our vision is that each story will be different from the last to help talent realize the diversity of our company and culture.”
“We need people with all sorts of perspectives,” Rex said. “We know that companies that are more diverse are more profitable. We believe that storytelling will ultimately help an outside audience see our company as a place of inclusivity and belonging.”
Employee Group in Wales Blends Diversity & Inclusion with Wellness Initiatives
Diversity & Inclusion can mean many different things to different people. At the Wrexham plant in North Wales, employees started a grassroots Diversity & Inclusion group with a unique twist – a focus on well-being, particularly mental health awareness.
The group, known as F.R.E.D.A.H., which stands for Fairness, Respect, Equality, Diversity, All (inclusion) and Health & Well-being, began in November of 2018 when Adele P., HR Manager, and her team issued a call for volunteers for a diversity, inclusion & well-being group.
“From a society perspective, the time is right. The time is now so let’s do it, we thought” said Adele.
The move was very well received, and the first meeting attracted 20 attendees. While people were motivated to join by many different factors – from a passion for diversity issues to a desire to make new friends – a concern for mental illness emerged as a recurring theme. Through group consensus, F.R.E.D.A.H. ultimately decided to focus on promoting all types of diversity, beginning with a focus on gender diversity and LGBT+, while always keeping mental health as a priority focus.
Since the first meeting F.R.E.D.A.H. members have organized events for Women’s Day and Pride month, hosted guest speakers and participated in a training by Stonewall, an advocate group focused on LGBT+ equality that also provided valuable insight on running D&I initiatives at the plant. F.R.E.D.A.H. also recently trained a volunteer “mental health first aid” team that can help people facing difficulties find appropriate resources.
While D&I and well-being initiatives are often siloed within companies, the success of the F.R.E.D.A.H. group has shown that there is a common thread between the two: helping people feel like they can bring their whole selves to work, no matter what is going on in their lives.
“The collective aim of the group is to ensure our people feel that they can fully be themselves at work, instead of feeling like they are in a straightjacket just by having to fit in,” said Adele. “It’s the group’s view that if you can give people this belief; they will be able to bring more of themselves – their ideas, their insights and engagement, which will benefit them as individuals and also the business as a whole. That’s the type of place we want the Wrexham Plant to be, and why what F.R.E.D.A.H. is doing is so important for our future”.
Kellogg ANZ Gets Flexible with Work Arrangements
Flexible work arrangements, once unheard of, have changed how people around the world get the job done. But sometimes, ironically, flexible work arrangements can lack a key ingredient – flexibility.
When Corinne Z., Culture & Capability Business Partner, and Mark H, HR Manager - Commercial Services, were crafting the K-Flex strategy, flexibility within the program was a top priority. Under the program, employees can access from four flexibility components: schedule, location, job sharing or part-time and additional leave time, including ‘being at your best’ days and flex-public holidays, where employees can choose to swap a non-traditional public holiday for one that is more meaningful to them and their families.
“Flexibility is no longer the future of work; it is the norm and expectation for candidates,” said Corinne. More than half of the job applicants are now asking Kellogg recruiters about flexible work options.
Talent attraction and retention is a crucial motivator for the K-Flex strategy. But Diversity & Inclusion is also baked in to the program. “Flexible working arrangements can play a key role in creating a workforce that’s as diverse as our customer base,” Corinne added.
She also notes that flexible work needs tend to differ across generational lines, with Millennials seeking better work / life balance and Gen Xers focused on balancing work with family obligations. Baby Boomers, meanwhile, are eager to stay engaged in the office, though not always in the traditional 9-to-5 schedule.
“We acknowledged that we all work at our best differently and that flexibility in the way we work leads to increased employee engagement, well-being and productivity,” she said.
The program has been very well-received among employees. Since the program’s inception, several employees have requested and been approved for flexible work arrangement. Turnover rates have decreased by 27 percent and absenteeism has dropped by 20 percent since the program rollout.
While these early successes are encouraging, Corinne says the ANZ team is committed to continually evolving the K-Flex strategy to ensure that it meets the needs of employees and managers. The Kellogg’s ANZ team drives K-Flex participation with ongoing manager refresher programs, sharing examples of how people are utilizing flex working programs and celebrating the business benefits.
“We wanted to provide greater trust and empowerment to our employees to work in a way that had mutually beneficial outcomes,” she said.