Where we've been
When the pandemic hit in 2020, many of us left our offices to work from home. While we didn’t know how long it would last, General Mills adapted quickly to ensure the company continued making food the world loves, while prioritizing the health and safety of our employees.
Many spent the better part of two years working from home.
Now it’s been a year since General Mills reopened its headquarters and launched the ‘Work with Heart’ framework, a set of guiding principles for our new ways of working that focuses on how work gets done, not where.
We’ve learned a lot since then, and we continue to evolve as the world around us changes.
The ‘Work with Heart’ design
What hasn’t changed is that people are at the heart of what makes General Mills great – it’s why people join and stay. When we connect, co-create, collaborate and celebrate together, it strengthens our relationships and increases trust.
We designed and created ‘Work with Heart’ to allow for generous personal and team flexibility, allowing our employees to work from home, the office and elsewhere based on their own needs and the needs of the business.
While we know flexibility is important, we also know that in-person moments matter.
Work with Heart is not an arbitrary schedule or a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s designed based on the work to be done and the moments that matter, with our culture of inclusion and belonging as the north star.
Creating moments that matter
We asked a few employees to share what coming together with intentionality – in-person and virtually – looks like for them.
The Pizza and Cookie Business Unit team is experimenting with an intentional “days of the week” structure. Mondays are focused on project management, Tuesdays and Wednesdays on running the business, Thursdays on large group collaboration and decision-making, and Fridays on closing out the week and preparing for the one ahead.
“Our goal is not to have everyone come in, but rather create value in structure,” says Blake Holman, Business Unit Director, Pizza & Cookies. “So that the people who want to come in can and get the most benefit from it. And if our Thursday collaboration day ends in a happy hour, even better.”
So far, the pilot seems to be working.
“For us, being this intentional has dramatically reduced the number of meetings we’re in overall, allowing us to focus on what’s most important. We recently had a Pillsbury cookie renovation where the Innovation, Technology and Quality team was able to hop over on a Thursday, talk about it in real time, and quickly align on a path forward. And taste test, of course.”
Isabelle Colimon, communications manager for our International Segment, is a new employee who works remotely from her home in Miami, FL. While her onboarding was done virtually, she and her manager found meaningful ways to connect and make team introductions when she was in Minneapolis for employee network and leadership team meetings.
“I love working remotely and it has felt like a seamless transition, especially since the International and Communication teams are already so mindful about things like time zones and checking in virtually with one another,” says Colimon. “But it was a different, indispensable feeling meeting my new co-workers from across the globe in person and seeing the office. We were able to joke around and bond on a whole new level. It made me appreciate being part of something bigger.”
Over the course of the pandemic, in manufacturing and other critical roles, our employees never left. But they still have many reasons to come together in new ways, often to celebrate moments that were put on hold since 2020.
“At the end of the fiscal year, we were able to get together as a full plant team to celebrate our achievements of making immense amounts of food for the country. And we were also able to celebrate folks who had anniversaries during the pandemic – lots of people who have been here 20, 25, 30, 35 years."
When our employees are at their best, General Mills is at its best—whether that’s in the office, at home, or somewhere else.
To learn more about life at General Mills and view our open positions, visit careers.generalmills.com