Retention, Diversity & Development
In addition to our commitment to keeping employees safe, we are dedicated to providing employees what they need to succeed in their careers. We recognize the value each employee brings to our business and how the diversity in background and skill sets benefits the company.
In addition to our commitment to keeping employees safe, we are dedicated to providing employees what they need to succeed in their careers. We recognize the value each employee brings to our business and how diversity in background and skillsets benefits the company. Our differences allow for better decision-making, drive innovative thinking and inspire collaboration to better serve our customers.
Our employees represent 24 citizenships and we strive to continue fostering a diverse workplace where all employees can contribute, thrive and advance. This means treating all employees openly, fairly and equitably, which is reflected in our values and Code of Business Ethics. Additionally, to accelerate our efforts in diversity and inclusion (D&I), a dedicated D&I steering committee was established in 2017 to evaluate best practices and identify initiatives to improve our diversity and to celebrate our differences. Our goal is to ensure that all employees experience our workplace as a welcoming, equitable and respectful environment in which everyone can achieve their true professional potential.
We believe that employee development is a shared responsibility. Our managers are committed to coaching, assessing employee’s competencies and providing objective feedback. Employees are encouraged to actively seek feedback, own their development actions, and openly share their future aspirations and mobility. Employee development starts in the current role. It is a continuous process with ongoing dialogue, assessment and documentation. Employee development requires experiential learning and breadth and depth of experience is necessary for career advancement.
Our Developing Leaders program provides a leadership development framework that recognizes the need for both a global core set of skills and region-specific needs along with ways of fulfilling them. This corporate-regional partnership fosters local innovations that may be replicated across the company. To reduce training delivery time to new leaders and make the content available on-demand, the Developing Leaders courses were recently converted into an e-learning format. The e-learning platform makes professional development training easily available online to all employees in topics as diverse as root cause analysis and interviewing skills.
Employee Development Highlights
Enhancing Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is the extent to which employees feel passionate, energetic and committed to their work.
We understand the importance of creating an environment where employees feel valued and connected, and want to give their best each day they come to work. Knowing how our employees feel about working for us and reacting to their feedback is critical to our success. To capture employee feedback, we launched a pilot employee engagement survey at our Boston and Billerica, Massachusetts, USA, sites in 2016. Building on the success of the pilot, we conducted our first global employee engagement survey in 2017.
Over 80% of our employees around the globe completed the survey. Results from the survey were shared with employees and focus groups were held at all locations to gain a deeper understanding of the feedback. Action plans were developed at the global, regional and site level focusing on the key themes identified in the survey. At the global levels, these actions include advancing our diversity and inclusion efforts, fostering employee growth and recognition through a redesigned, performance-based management process and launching a formal recognition program, improving communications and implementing a simplification initiative to improve efficiency and effectiveness. The success of these actions will be measured through future engagement surveys, which we plan to conduct every two years.
Developing Our Future Leaders
We launched a six-month Leadership Fundamentals Development Program in 2017 to enhance the skills of our frontline leaders.
Thirty employees from ten facilities across North America participated in the program through a blended learning approach of online training, webinars, reading assignments and a discussion board. Participants engaged in a variety of leadership topics, including Cabot’s people leadership competencies, establishing trusting relationships, communication strategies, motivating and influencing employees, managing conflict and giving feedback. The design of the program enabled collaborative learning across sites, functions, businesses and positions. As we facilitate this program in coming years, we look forward to engaging a greater number of employees.
Preparing Engineers for Growth
In 2017, all process engineers from six reinforcement materials plants in the Asia Pacific region (APAC) participated in a dedicated program designed to enhance their technical expertise, leadership skills and overall performance.
The engineers participated in 11, three-hour modules that included e-learning, internal and external classroom training and study groups. The outcome led to improved information and best practice sharing among APAC plants and further development of our talent pipeline.
We take steps to ensure all employees are committed to living our values of integrity, respect, responsibility and excellence as well as our commitment to human rights. All employees are required to attend training to understand the importance of our values in addition to completing our Code of Conduct training.Download our Human Rights Policy