Culture and values

Encouraging and empowering our people.

Our employees come from many cultures and backgrounds, and our business benefits from the breadth of ideas and experiences they bring.

Having such a diversity of people who support each other’s success creates a unique mix. Our differences are balanced by a common view on our industry – we support personal choice and the freedom to choose – and that philosophy helps drive our business strategy.

Being free to discuss and debate means we develop our business in exciting ways and give individuals their voice. Empowering teams creates fresh ideas and different experiences, keeping us sharp, innovative and ahead of the game.

Employment Principles

Key to our culture is a set of fair minded Employment Principles which apply to all our operations. The Principles state that we will not discriminate in hiring, promotion or retirement decisions on the grounds of candidates’ or employees’ race, colour, gender, age, social class, religion, smoking habits, sexual orientation, politics or disability. Rather, we match the requirements of the job to the ability and potential of the individual.

Our companies are required to operate according to the Group Employment Principles, with flexibility to customise their management of employee and development issues in the ways that are most appropriate to their local business environments.

Employment Principles (105 kb) 


Diversity helps us to understand our consumers, customers and stakeholders and to meet their needs. It also provides different ways of looking at challenges, encouraging creativity and innovation.

Operating in more than 200 markets, we have a very diverse workforce in terms of nationality. In 2016, we had 144 nationalities working in management globally.

To maintain a diverse workforce we need to attract talented individuals from different backgrounds and make sure our culture supports them. Our Guiding Principles have always included a statement on how diversity gives us a competitive advantage, but we need to ensure our people fully embrace this value and promote it globally.

We have very diverse customers, suppliers and other stakeholders, and want a diverse workforce to meet their needs. We are committed to enhancing the diversity of our senior management teams, focused on gender and nationality, and so are supporting the career development of these focus groups.

One of the ways that we are supporting women’s progression into senior roles is through a programme called Women in Leadership, which provides training, mentoring and other types of career support for high potential female employees.

You can view data on the proportion of women in senior management in our sustainability performance centre  .

Listening to employees

We track employee satisfaction through our Group-wide ‘Your Voice’ employee opinion survey.

Our last survey had a response rate of 93% – 11 percentage points higher than the average response rate for this type of survey – with the key Engagement Index score of 72% being 3% higher than the
FMCG comparator norm of 69%.

The full results of the survey can be viewed in our sustainability performance centre  .

We use feedback from our surveys to address areas of improvement, alongside our other initiatives to provide a workplace that will enable people to develop and contribute to the Group’s success in the years ahead.