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Changing the Culture at Mars Food Australia

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Is there anything better than being number one? We know there is.

Our EX experts unlocked the people power at Mars Food Australia, and the results speak for themselves.

The big issue

Mars Food Australia came to us with the type of problem we love to solve. In 2017, the company ranked as the number one large company to work for in Australia* and had excellent employee engagement.

However, after eight years of growth (3-5% more than industry average), the Executive Team felt the business wasn’t reaching its full potential.

They wanted to know how to unlock their peoples’ full potential by driving pace and focus.

That’s where we came in.


Unlocking people power

We sent our EX experts for a deep dive into Mars Food Australia (MFA). Their diagnostic identified key shifts that MFA needed to make to drive business performance. It was clear that we needed to help MFA make all the right moves.

From our research, our team defined the behaviours required to close the gap. From there, we designed an insights-driven EX strategy that focused on six priority workstreams, which were linked to MFA’s new business strategy. These included projects relating to leadership empowerment, communications and meeting effectiveness.

To create sustainable change, we helped MFA take a leader-led approach by enabling senior leader ownership of a given workstream. We used off-site events and experiences to unpack and set behavioural expectations for leaders (supported with toolkits and training), so they could start to role-model.

Once we had leaders aligned, we rolled out the behaviours to the wider employee population alongside the new MFA strategy. We started at their annual conference and went from there.

To ensure workstream progress and allow for adjustments as needed, we continue to facilitate quarterly pulse surveys. This gives our EX experts granular metrics, which enables them to correlate culture change with commercial value.


When people and culture work

At MFA, we’d say that the proof is in the people. In six months, we’ve seen:

  • Increase in proposals accepted by major customers;
  • Increased innovation funnel;
  • Increased productivity with 1,000 meeting hours saved in one team;
  • 16% increase in leaders facilitating innovation effectively (quarterly pulse survey).

HR making an impact

At We Are Unity we believe bravery is necessary for culture change. Natalie Jones (HR Director, Mars Food Australia) steered the Mars Food team through their transformation journey with We Are Unity to bring about positive culture change.

Hear more about this transformation journey in the Qantas Magazine Interview with Hamish Thomson (General Manager, Mars Food Australia) and Ben Bars (CEO, We Are Unity) as they share their unique perspectives of the experience.


If you want to learn about how our Employee Experience Diagnostics can unlock business and people potential, contact ben@weareunity.com


* #1 GPTW Award in Australia (Large Organisations Category, 2017)


April 1, 2019, We Are Unity