Altria Group Inc., one of the Richmond’s area’s largest companies, says its long-term success as a business depends on attracting and retaining a diverse workforce with the right mix of talents to drive innovation.
“I think the challenge we face is what all companies face, which is really focusing on strengthening our talent and culture in a dynamic environment,” said Steve Callahan, a spokesman for the company.
“We try to do that in a number of ways,” he said.
Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris USA, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., and John Middleton Co., offers competitive compensation and benefits packages.
“We have a goal to provide total compensation between the 50th and 75th percentile of peer companies,” Callahan said.
Some of the company’s facilities have amenities such as on-site hair salons and doctor’s offices. “These are amenities that we know folks are interested in, and we provide it to give folks the flexibility they want,” Callahan said.
“We are making sure that we meet how people want to work in the future, and that means things like offering flexible hours,” he said.
Beyond the compensation and amenities, the company emphasizes career training and advancement. From an employee’s first day at the company, there is access to “a wide range of training and development opportunities,” he said.
To get employee input on innovation, the company established STAR (Science & Technology Applications Roundtable) talks, a monthly half-day event serving as a forum for employees to openly communicate, share information and generate new solutions to technical challenges.
More than 2,300 employees are members of employee resource groups, which provide a way for employees to support one another. “They hold seminars where all employees are welcome to come and discuss important issues,” Callahan said.
Employee recognition comes in a variety of ways, such as the company’s Appreciate and Applaud awards, in which employees can nominate colleagues for great work. “You can also nominate someone to receive points, and after a certain number of points, you can get gifts,” Callahan said.
Employees also can nominate co-workers for the company’s Chairman’s Award, which is given by the chairman to an employee who has made an extraordinary impact on business or culture.