Robert Smith, a Congressman from Illinois, founded the Minneapolis Milling Company in 1856, along the St. Anthony Falls on the Mississippi River. Soon after Cadwallader Washburn and his brother William purchased the mill as a business investment. John Crosby joined the Washburn brothers as a partner in the milling business in 1877, forming the Washburn Crosby Company. Then in 1928, Washburn Crosby Company merged with several other mills to form General Mills. (Wikipedia) Since that time, people have enjoyed a variety of products manufactured by more than 34,000 employees internationally.
Offering a flexible benefits package, General Mills empowers employees to select the type of benefits they find valuable to their individual lives. The success of the organization is ensured by providing more than the legally required benefits, which attracts, retains, and motivates employees. (Noe et al. 409) General Mills provides a variety of medical and dental benefits for employees and their eligible dependents. Eligibility for coverage begins on the first day of employment. A 401(k) savings plan and investment funds are offered as well.
The organization provides a pension plan and retiree medical plan for eligible employees. A voluntary stock purchase program allows employees the opportunity to share in the organization’s success by owning stock in the company. General Mills offers flexible spending accounts that can be used to pay for out-of-pocket expenses associated with health and child care. Contemporary life insurance, disability, long-term care, legal, auto, and homeowners insurance programs are also available. In addition, the organization offers an extensive relocation assistance program.
Employees are encouraged to continue their education in job-related courses which are financially reimbursed by the organization. Educational loans and scholarship opportunities are available for employees and their family members. Three weeks of vacation are given to new employees with automatic yearly increases. General Mills also offers employees a flexible work schedule along with many other perks. (G. M. Leading maker) The value of these benefits must be communicated to the employees in order for General Mills to achieve its goals of attracting, retaining and motivating its workers.
General Mills believes that the expense of these benefits is far outweighed by the results achieved. The organization strives to establish an atmosphere, where employees feel appreciated and enjoy the challenges presented. This type of job satisfaction leads to quality production and low employee turn-over rates. Mike Davis, the senior vice-president of global human resources suggests that an accommodating and stimulating workplace “is critically tied to attracting and retaining top talent, driving innovation, and ultimately connecting with customers around the world” (Noe et al. 15).
The excellent selection of benefits offered by General Mills affects those already employed, and the organizations’ ability to recruit new talent. General Mills has been voted one of the best companies to work for by its employees repeatedly over the years. (Noe et al. 414) The General Mills mission is not only to nourish lives, but make lives richer and healthier. Respecting, developing, and investing in employees, exhibits the strong core values with which General Mills has built its reputation for success.
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