Cultural Buddy programme helps Purina retain talent

Location: United States

Impact Area

  • Nutrition
  • Water
  • Rural Development
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Compliance
  • Community engagement
  • Gender balance & diversity
Oct 19, 2015, updated October 2015

Our research shows that people from minority groups are twice as likely to leave a company within their first year. To help address this issue, Purina, as part of its Diversity & Inclusion strategy, created a Cultural Buddy programme to connect people of colour who join the company to current associates and resources.

Programme description

The initial days of any new associate’s time on campus are critical, so the Cultural Buddy programme, which helps new joiners settle in, can make a significant difference.

Each new associate has a buddy for three months who makes them feel welcome and helps them feel positive about their new role and develop a desire to succeed within the company.

Cultural Buddy programme connecting people

Once the buddy relationship ends, participants can share their feedback via an online survey to help gauge the programme’s effectiveness and make improvements for the future.

The programme also helps associates from diverse backgrounds to connect to the greater St. Louis community, which can also increase retention rates. This is different from the on-boarding process in that assigned ‘Cultural Buds’ create an informal setting and make connections beyond the job function.

The benefits of the Buddy programme are three-fold. It:

  • Helps associates transition smoothly into Purina and its culture
  • Gives current associates an opportunity to encourage and engage with new associates, and
  • Allows the organisation to increase new diverse associate satisfaction and retention rates.

Value to Society

Helping ensure that people of colour have an equal chance of succeeding helps balance the employment landscape and can encourage lasting change to local cultural norms. The external reach of the programme signals to society that people of all colours and backgrounds are valuable.

Value to Nestlé

Helping more people of colour enjoy a long career at Nestlé helps create a culture that embraces diversity and mirrors the communities we support, making us a stronger organisation for the future.

Next Steps

  • We are continually improving the programme by implementing suggestions from participants. For example, we are adding more structure to the initial meeting and group activities.
  • We have plans to develop a Virtual Buddy programme for factories and field sales associates.