Company: RB, Parsippany, NJ
Category: Employer of the Year - Consumer Products - Non- Durables
Reckitt Benckiser was formed in December 1999 by a merger between Britain's Reckitt & Colman plc, formed in 1938 by a merger Reckitt & Sons and J. & J. Colman and Benckiser NV, founded in Germany in 1823. Reckitt Benckiser dropped its full name, becoming RB, in 2014. RB has a stable of trusted household brands found in households in more than 190 countries, including Enfamil, Nutramigen, Nurofen, Strepsils, Gaviscon, Mucinex, Durex, Scholl, Clearasil, Lysol, Dettol, Veet, Harpic, Cillit Bang, Mortein, Finish, Vanish, Calgon, Woolite, Air Wick and more. 20 million RB products a day are bought by consumers globally.
RB believes that its success is tied to that of employees. RB employees are encouraged to be ambitious in the goals they set for themselves to grow in their career. To meet their goals, employees are provided the needed resources to help them succeed.
Understanding that employees are more than their positions, RB has introduced a flexible working policy, even establishing a flex working office in Manhattan and extending its shuttle service to- and- from Manhattan, Jersey City, and Hoboken, to ensure its employees are able to produce their best work and meet their own needs—increasing their ambition and quality of work as a whole. RB also launched an external speaker series for its employees and built upon the existing Give Time initiative, holding volunteering events at local schools.
RB’s Innovation Incubator, a competition dedicated to making a positive difference within RB, garnered tremendous engagement from employees. Employees, given the power to control their own experience, created the US Purpose Council, an offshoot of the in- house global organization driving positive changes in company culture and environmental practices, and several initiatives, including an award- winning collaboration with TerraCycle. Over 150 employees participated in interviews discussing how they would like to build out the company’s culture in the future, and RB launched its first Glint survey to monitor employee engagement.
RB is leading the way as companies shift towards working remotely to reduce the threat of COVID- 19. Recognizing offices may redefine the in- office experience, allowing employees to work remotely and come together when necessary, RB is an early adopter of innovative solutions for employee engagement and grassroots initiatives.
Specifically, with the RB Innovation Incubator and Purpose Council, employees have a clear channel for sharing their ideas, concerns, and thoughts regarding company culture and practices.
What sets RB apart from others in the industry is the way RB includes its employees in every level of conversation regarding employee programs and opportunities from inception to execution. Employees are encouraged to participate in satisfaction surveys and to engage with larger efforts to create an environment they will thrive in.
The Innovation Incubator and Purpose Council are invaluable opportunities for employee engagement, giving employees the opportunity to shape RB’s products and practices.
The attached “Purpose Council” PDF summarizes the purpose and methods of RB’s global purpose council, reflected on a local scale by the US Purpose Council, further described in the attached “Local US Council” PowerPoint.
RB’s Innovation Incubator, summarized in the attached “Innovation Incubator” video, provides RB’s employees with the opportunity to participate in a competition in which they can create and pitch ideas to determine what RB’s next big innovation would be, building upon RB’s culture of ownership, achievement, and entrepreneurship.
The Give Time initiative, which empowers RB employees to take two days a year to volunteer or otherwise engage in activism, is summarized at this webpage. The Give Time initiative also encompasses the Long- Term Volunteering (LVT) program, which places employees abroad in communities in need for 13 weeks, making water more accessible, building toilets, and teaching schoolchildren about sanitation, disease and menstrual hygiene and developing leadership skills within employees.
The attached document summarizing RB’s flexible working policy provides more information on the rationale behind the initiative—in short, to empower employees to do their best work and balance their work with their personal lives. Information on the New York City flexible office is also attached.
From the outset of the COVID- 19 pandemic, RB mobilized resources to ensure employee safety and provide employees with critical information.
Employee safety being the top priority, RB conducted temperature checks for its factory workers before arriving to work, as noted by the Wall Street Journal. To help team members face the need for increased disinfecting at home —and boost company morale in these difficult times—the company distributed care packages to employees that contained cleaning products such as Lysol.
As part of its strategy to ensure employee safety and wellbeing, RB is keeping employee morale and mental health top of mind. To help the company better understand how to shape wellness programs, RB started by issuing a survey to all employees. From there, RB will adapt its programs to meet employees’ holistic wellness needs. In the meantime, RB sponsored a webinar featuring a stress management and wellbeing expert. Additionally, as a special thank you, all RB employees in the US received a $15 electronic gift card to GrubHub.
In anticipation of changes to the workplace setting, the company launched several virtual options for the dissemination of information and updates, including: a bi-weekly employee COVID-19 newsletter; playbook for mapping out how the company is navigating the crisis; and a flexible work from home policy that purposely avoids overly defining what the policy means in practice, allowing for employees to define what flexibility means to them in order to be at their best in their new remote environments.