How is Mondelēz Getting Hybrid Work Right? 6/9

The Getting Hybrid Work Right call series has become a well-attended and wide-ranging discussion for HR leaders on all aspects of hybrid work. On this week's call, i4cp CEO and Co-Founder Kevin Oakes and Senior Research Analyst Tom Stone facilitated a conversation with special guest Richard Stone, VP of HR, Global Enabling Functions at  Mondelēz International, a multinational confectionery, food, holding, and beverage and snack food company based in Chicago, Illinois. Here are some highlights from the call:

  • Like many organizations, Mondelēz has a variety of types of employees. Many people who are on the frontline and worked on site / in the field during and throughout the pandemic. For others there was a shift to remote work, and now there is a shift to three types of approaches: returning fully to the office, continuing to work remotely, and a hybrid / flexible approach. For Mondelēz, this was a continuation and acceleration of a trend towards greater flexibility in such work arrangements.
  • For those who are and will be in hybrid roles in terms of work location, Mondelēz' approach is to give a lot of flexibility and discretion to the employee and their manager to work out the arrangement that is best for them and their team. Managers are expected to be very intentional and purposeful about when and why they have such employees come on site -- Mondelēz does believe in the power of people being together to collaborate in-person. But Mondelēz is not mandating a rigid, company-wide approach to hybrid such as X number of days in the office per week.
  • Mondelez emphasizes managers as role models for hybrid working, with the following expectations:
    • Truly role model hybrid working as such, with time spent in the office and remotely
    • Remove fear by creating psychological safety and space to talk openly with teams about expectations and concerns
    • Contract on key moments when the team will meet in the office (such as team meetings, meetings with senior management, company events, peak times of year such as AC planning or month closings)
    • Focus on positive reinforcement and encouragement (vs. one-size-fits-all mandates and requirements)
    • Reinforce the benefits and human connections that are taking place among team members in the office in team meetings
    • Avoid a two-tier system in which people working in the office more are valued and recognized more than are those who choose to work more flexibly
  • At the Chicago HQ, Mondelez is providing breakfast and lunch options, improving parking, and doing other practical things, as a way to support employees coming into the office.
  • A lot of tools have been created, especially to support managers, including guides with templates and insights about how to manage in the hybrid work world. These guides are walked through with managers during workshops.
  • Mondelez' initiative called The Right You is focused on the holistic well-being of employees, with three core pillars of mind, body, and connection. It was started in Australia, expanded around Asia, and now has been rolled out globally. It pulls together all of their well-being related resources, support, systems, etc. In particular, this initiative has helped to break the stigma around mental health issues that still exists, particularly in certain areas of the world. See this video on YouTube to learn more about The Right You.
  • Included in The Right You is a new, internally developed mobile app for employees to support holistic well-being.
  • We asked a poll of call participants: "Does your organization use a mobile app to help enable the holistic well-being of your employees?"
    • 4% - Yes, we developed our own mobile app(s)
    • 26% - Yes we are usingone or more third-party apps
    • 17% - No, but we are considering having a holistic well-being app
    • 44% - No, and we currently have no plans
  • Mondelez holds "well-being weeks" to help support their managers in supporting their team members on many aspects of mental health, overall well-being, etc. There has been a big shift in expectations for managers from past practices at many organizations.
  • Mondelez also holds periodic challenges, to focus on various areas such as a "healthy habits" challenge which gave employees several healthy goals to meet over a two week period (with support from the mobile app mentioned above).
  • Mondelez is also piloting the use of virtual reality in their onboarding process in India. Employees use VR headsets to learn more about the organization, the end-to-end operations, etc., during their onboarding period. This initiative creates an employee branding buzz for the company, but they are also looking forward to getting data to compare retention and other factors for those onboarded as part of this pilot vs. through the traditional process. They also plan to leverage VR for other uses soon, such as training, R&D, etc.

Links to resources shared on the call: