Supporting our associates by helping them grow professionally and achieve their personal best, taking a holistic approach to wellness and safety in order to support a LiveTotal Health mindset and creating a high energy, high performance culture are the hallmarks of how we GroMoreGood for and with our associates.
Our culture and commitment to our associates sets our company apart. Every associate, and every job, is important to our success and to helping us live out our purpose to GroMoreGood, everywhere. We are dedicated to doing our best for each other, our customers and our communities. We strive to create an environment that values the health, safety and wellness of our teams, and we work to equip them with the knowledge and skills to serve our business and develop in their careers.
Our company remains headquartered in Marysville, Ohio, only five miles from where we were founded more than 150 years ago. In fact, generations of families have worked for us. We are successful because each person and part of our business works together to deliver our strategic priorities. Our supply chain, sales team, marketing experts, R&D scientists and strategic support functions, including tax, finance and legal, all play a role in our success. We provide many opportunities for our associates to grow and develop. Our associates are continuing to build careers everywhere we operate. Their responsibilities are vast, from manufacturing innovative solutions to creating R&D breakthroughs. As we look at our leadership team, many of them started their careers as merchandisers and counselors supporting our consumers in stores.
We are guided by our cultural attributes that include being passionate, ethical and respectful. ethical behavior is our most important cultural attribute. There is no personal or business goal worth compromising our integrity and commitment to ethics. Our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics serves as a behavioral guide to help us conduct our business with honesty, integrity and professionalism.
In 2020, we updated our Code to expand the language around health, safety and wellness and incorporate lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. We also included language specifically prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and added additional guidance for escalating and resolving conflicts of interest. Our associates can share concerns, and are encouraged to do so, through multiple avenues, including speaking with their direct supervisor, calling the 24/7 Ethics and Compliance HelpLine or sending a confidential letter to the Audit Committee of our Board of Directors. We investigate every report of alleged misconduct and do not tolerate retaliation. Everyone working for ScottsMiracle-Gro or on our behalf is expected to conduct business legally and ethically. We train our associates concerning a number of policies and compliance areas, including our commitment to anti-bribery. Training is role-dependent and role-specific, and the amount of time is commensurate with the associate’s role within the organization. To our suppliers and business partners, we provide our expectations in writing concerning ethical business and human rights practices. We take steps to help ensure that our partners, suppliers, consultants and others who do business with us don’t engage in corrupt practices on our behalf.
We are proud of our values-based culture. One way we build this culture is by empowering our associates to take an active role in participating in, and leading in, our business. Through associate resource groups, volunteer opportunities and cross-functional projects that tackle some of our biggest business challenges, we create a workplace where everyone feels included as a part of our family. We work to foster a safe, healthy and inclusive workplace culture where all associates are engaged to grow and thrive. This means cultivating a diverse and inclusive workplace that reflects the communities where we operate.
To that end, our leadership is engaging in several initiatives to actively listen to associates and encourage dialogue on important topics. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to engage with our associates to understand the impact of working from home, including productivity, performance, caregiver responsibilities and additional factors such as new school year guidelines for families. To communicate with our associates more personally, we sent letters to their homes discussing company updates on topics such as health and safety during the pandemic, including mental health, and our updated Code of Business Conduct & Ethics. We also used surveys to review and respond to prior feedback we received from our associates. Our leadership team holds regular town hall meetings and other forums to Share and receive information.
Employee resource groups
Our employee resource groups (ERGs) are voluntary, associate-led groups that are typically formed by people with a common affinity, such as gender, race, national origin, sexual orientation, military status or other attribute. Each ERG establishes a mission to positively impact the business by cultivating relationships through networking and developing talent through experiences, programs and mentoring. Our ERGs drive continuous improvement of our inclusive work environment and are open to all associates, regardless of the business department, location or management level.
In 2021, we launched two new ERGs: Scotts Family TREE and Scotts Associates for a Greener Earth (SAGE). We look forward to watching these groups act as change agents and support our business initiatives.
Scotts Family TREE
Scotts Family TREE – Together Respecting, Empowering and Encouraging Families exists to nurture associates by providing the education, resources and community that their family needs to grow at work and at home. Scotts Family TREE is open to all associates and includes every associate’s definition of family. It is dedicated to empowering associates with information and tools in support of a healthy work-life balance, supporting associates with access to information relevant to their specific circumstances, and resources they need to live their best lives. Scotts Family TREE connects associates with other associates who have shared life experiences and builds a community through volunteerism.
Scotts Associates for a Greener Earth (SAGE)
SAGE is one of our newest employee resource groups and is a modern take on our former Scotts Green team, which was founded more than 10 years ago. SAGE is a dedicated group of individuals who champion sustainable practices and programs across our company. The group’s members span across corporate, R&D and plant operations throughout North America. Vital to many of our sustainability initiatives, including promoting an onsite food composting program, SAGE members are working with facilities to implement several environmentally friendly projects and connecting associates with environmental volunteering opportunities at nature preserves and community gardens. In addition to driving key sustainable initiatives that support our company’s purpose, the group also aims to help associates develop sustainable living practices in their own lives.
Scotts Women’s Network
Scotts Women’s Network (SWN) is dedicated to maximizing women’s career potential and leadership skills for the advancement of professional women and to strengthen our leadership diversity. SWN hosts regular professional development and networking events and connects its members to meaningful volunteer opportunities with organizations including Dress for Success and Meals on Wheels.
Scotts Veterans Network
Scotts Veterans Network (SVN) exists to recruit, develop, connect, empower and retain veterans through increased opportunities and resources to enhance their professional development and business success within the company. SVN is open to currently active military members, veterans, associates with family members or friends serving in the military and those who want to support them. Throughout the year, SVN supports a variety of causes such as the Heroes for Heroes 5K Mud Run and the nonprofit organization Canine Companions for Independence which trains and places service dogs with veterans experiencing post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other disabilities. SVN also sponsors the Scotts Veterans Challenge Coin which is presented to associate veterans in honor of their service.
Scotts Black Employees Network
The Scotts Black Employees Network (SBEN) supports, develops, connects, empowers, recruits and retains talented black, African, African American and Caribbean associates. SBEN sponsors a range of education and engagement programming for associates throughout the year. SBEN’s vision is to promote a culture of inclusion, engagement and equity by fostering supportive environments, developing greater understanding and promoting more leadership opportunities for employees of the African diaspora at our company. SBEN fosters relationships–within our organization and with surrounding communities–to promote awareness of black cultures, share knowledge and experiences, and provide professional development and career advancement opportunities at all levels. The group also sponsors and facilitates a range of education and engagement programming for associates throughout the year, such as instruction on topics of racial disparity, African American history, and contributions to society.
Scotts Young Professionals
Scotts Young Professionals (SYP) is dedicated to connecting, growing and guiding the next generation of leaders by fostering innovation, engagement and new ways of thinking at ScottsMiracle-Gro. SYP members organize regular networking and mentorship events, participate in charity fundraisers and volunteer to mentor Central Ohio youth through The Legacy Project.
GroPride is dedicated to fostering an inclusive, supportive global network for associates and provides a forum for education and awareness in support of the professional growth of LGBTQ+ individuals. Shortly after its launch, GroPride sponsored a Pride Month article series for associates and hosted a virtual fundraiser to benefit the Kaleidoscope Youth Center. GroPride has also worked with the Human Rights Campaign to support our company in participating in the Corporate Equality Index for the second consecutive year.
Diversity and human rights
In addition to our DE&I efforts, we are committed to upholding human rights. We seek to operate all aspects of our business responsibly, honestly and ethically. This commitment is not only to our associates, but extends to our customers and suppliers. Our human rights commitments include the following:
- We respect all individuals and are committed to treating all our associates with respect and dignity, regardless of any characteristic such as race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. We also expect the same of our suppliers and business partners.
- We strive to treat people fairly and prohibit discrimination in our business and beyond.
- We do not tolerate intimidation or harassment.
- We have processes in place to help ensure we comply with voluntary employment and minimum working age legal requirements.
- We respect our associates’ rights to form and join a labor union, and we comply with all applicable local and national laws concerning freedom of association and collective bargaining agreements, which cover approximately 4% of our associates. We bargain in good faith with union representatives in cases where our associates are part of a legally recognized union.
- We have a strong track record as a company of treating our associates like family and “doing the right thing” for our people with or without representation.
Our commitment to upholding human rights has not gone unrecognized. ScottsMiracle-Gro is proud to announce that we received a score of 100/100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Corporate equality index, the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality. This score designates ScottsMiracle-Gro as one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” and recognizes our commitment to human rights. Our efforts include:
- An equal employment opportunity policy that provides protections against discrimination on associates’ sexual orientation and gender identity
- Benefits coverage for same-sex and opposite-sex spouses and domestic partners
- Our LGBTQ employee resource group, GroPride
- Distinct efforts of outreach and external engagement with the LGBTQ community
- Guidelines that prohibit philanthropic support to any non-religious organizations that have a written policy of discrimination against LGBTQ people
- Hosting Real Talk series
- Updates to our human Resource information system (HRIS) to be more inclusive
To inform our diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) priorities, we conducted various diagnostic exercises to understand our current gaps and future opportunities. This includes surveys, executive interviews, focus groups, conversation series and audits of our current talent and ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. In response to the racial justice movement of 2020, we implemented a company-wide series on unconscious bias, led various education discussion groups throughout the organization, updated our policies and code of conduct and created a specific space on our intranet dedicated to DE&I. Our associates mobilized a grassroots movement to continue this important dialogue. The Power of Change Circles are a place where associates can learn, discuss and become empowered as change agents. The Power of Change Circles leverage a variety of resources to start the conversation as well as the momentum generated by the Real Talk series. Real Talk was a series of virtual conversations supported by our leadership with the intention of creating awareness and promoting authentic dialogue.
In 2021, our real talk discussions covered the following topics:
- Increasing awareness of social challenges
- The importance of inclusion
- Headwinds and tailwinds diverse talent may face in the workplace
- The impact of cross-cultural differences on workplace behavior
- The breadth of diversity within the LGBTQ+ community
- What it means to be an ally
- How we can be change agents for our communities and our company culture
- The need for solutions
Training and professional development
We believe the new hire onboarding experience is pivotal in shaping an associate’s acclimation to our business. To that end, new associates take part in a customized onboarding program to help them succeed. In 2021, we made adjustments and updates to our new hire orientation program, taking root, to meet the needs of our global associates. Our fresh approach provides new hires with an engaging, self-paced, online orientation experience that facilitates their journey to learn about essential company information and initiatives. Through this program, all associates are introduced to our company through the global lens of Who We Are, Where We’ve Been and How We Work. Associates are also introduced to our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and are guided through content covering our commitment to leadership, ethics and core values.
In addition to orientation, new hires receive a welcome package and an onboarding plan specific to their role and level within our organization that they complete during their first year of employment. Additional training programs include instruction on our ethical expectations and commitment to a workplace free of harassment and discrimination. Important environmental health and safety topics also ensure we protect both our people and the environment in our operations. We partner with industry experts to ensure our training catalog offers both live and on-demand learning content that accelerates the development of practical application of skills and competences. Content is hand-selected and updated frequently to align to the development needs of our associates and address trending topics. In 2021, our associates completed over 40,000 hours of learning virtually, in-person and online. These formal learning opportunities are intended to accelerate on-the-job development based on the individualized needs of our associates.
Developing all associates is a critical part of our internal efforts to support both the current and long-term success of our company and our people. Regardless of role, all associates have the opportunity to learn new skills through exposure and involvement in business challenges. Our managers support associates as development happens on the job through cross-functional team assignments, expanded roles and rotational assignments.
Our development philosophy invites everyone to collect skills and experiences through exploration, exposure and education, rather than career paths that are predictable or linear. We provide a variety of best-in-class learning tools and experiences to our associates to help them embrace a growth mindset that leads to higher levels of achievement and personal satisfaction. Continuous learning that is embedded in the day-to-day is supported by onsite and virtual classroom events, online courses, external training programs based on individual needs, professional development events and our tuition assistance program.
Our ongoing development processes are designed to grow knowledge, improve skills and capabilities, and achieve competence in specific behaviors to meet performance expectations and prepare for potential future roles within our company. We highly value associate growth and are committed to the cultivation and development of our next generation of leaders.
Talent planning and acquisition
We believe providing an enriching and engaging associate experience is what sets us apart from other organizations. We recognize that our associates are much more than just their job title, so we offer programs and benefits that support them in all aspects of their lives. We pride ourselves on looking at career growth that matches an individual’s ability and desired path, as well as offering a more diverse path of opportunities and experiences.
To guide our talent acquisition strategies, we listen to our associates to determine benefits and total compensation that are attractive to talent. We also highlight service and community efforts as key factors in our recruiting story. total compensation, culture and providing our associates with paid time off to give back to their local communities all contribute to differentiating our business when attracting talent to our company.
To support our business priorities, having the right talent in the right roles is critical. to ensure professional growth and succession readiness, we commit to assessing and developing our internal talent. The first stage of the talent planning process focuses on finding gaps between current talent and our business needs. We seek to develop talent internally or acquire talent externally. As we evaluate talent, we use a standard methodology focused on learning agility and overall performance to objectively evaluate skills. We also use formal assessments to identify a person’s strengths, development areas, readiness and fit for future roles. We then compare these evaluations to our definition of top talent for each role. Based on the gaps between our evaluations and talent needs, we establish appropriate hiring and development plans. Development plans may include tools and experiences such as executive exposure, ongoing feedback and development discussions, intentional promotions, rotational assignments and expanded roles.
In addition, we invest in our next generation of potential associates through internship opportunities across North America. These internship programs support our business strategies by integrating interns into our organization while simultaneously developing future enterprise leaders. The mission and goal of our internships are to cultivate the professional growth of students through a dynamic work environment and to convert rising seniors and graduate students into full-time roles upon their graduation.
Continuous feedback supports our talent growth strategy by instilling trust, increasing transparency and developing enterprise leaders. Associates receive coaching and feedback based on their contribution toward annual goals in the areas of enterprise leadership, business projects and primary job responsibilities. Our continuous listening and feedback philosophy, Let’sChat!, promotes continuous dialogue at all levels of the organization. The proactive and ongoing communication about enterprise leader behaviors, goals, development plans and growth areas, is designed to help associates learn, grow and deliver results. To support our goals, we focus on engagement, building stronger relationships, improved productivity, encouragement of new ideas and increased associate satisfaction and retention. We end the year with a formal year-end performance management activity. Associates and managers complete a year-end summary and have a formal conversation. Both answer questions focused on accomplishments, opportunities, development and career aspirations and select an overall performance rating. This is followed by a conversation focused on successes, improvement areas, development plans and future goals.
Compensation philosophy Our compensation practices are competitive when compared with our compensation peer group and reflect fair pay relative to our company’s financial performance. Our compensation programs align our executive team’s interests with those of our shareholders by rewarding performance that meets or exceeds the targets the Compensation Committee establishes with the objective of increasing shareholder value. The culture of our company is based on a strong bias for action aimed at delivering sustainable results. Our compensation programs are structured to promote accountability and to promote our business objectives. To ensure we recognize and reward desired behaviors and not just financial results, our Management and executive incentive plans include a discretionary Personal Performance Factor (PPF). PPF ensures we are recognizing and rewarding associates not only for what they do, but how they do it, with the goal of providing meaningful differentiation to top performers.
Caring for our associates – LiveTotal Health
In 2006, we launched LiveTotal Health, an innovative and transformative initiative aimed at helping our associates and their families optimize their overall health and well-being. It is our goal to empower and motivate our associates to achieve health success, however they choose to define it. by providing tools, resources, encouragement and support, participants can attain their personal best physical, financial and/or emotional wellness. Since its creation, LiveTotal Health has transformed our culture and is emulated by other companies today.
Benefits and compensation programs that value our associates’ contributions and offer physical, financial and personal health programs are the first step toward caring for our associates and their families. Financial stability is a crucial component to overall well-being, which is why our company offers competitive pay, an industry-leading retirement plan match and other performance- or incentive-based financial programs. Along with other personal benefits, like paid time off for volunteerism and adoption assistance, these programs help to foster the culture of family and community we have at ScottsMiracle-Gro.
In regard to physical health programs, our medical and dental coverage help our associates to feel their best, whether they are on the job or at home. In previous years, we have provided a wellness center at our Marysville location for our associates and their families and reimburse associates’ fitness club memberships at other locations. With the COVID-19 pandemic, our Fitness Services created a website that supports our associates through virtual training sessions, classes and fitness challenge events. We also provide a cancer support program that gives associates and their families access to resources to help them through the cancer experience as a patient or caregiver. resources include a dedicated, licensed social worker for personalized navigation and resource referrals, individualized one-on-one counseling and family sessions and educational material covering a broad range of cancer topics.
In 2021, we continued to address the needs of our associates and their families during the pandemic, Through 100% coverage in our benefits plans for COVID-19-related treatment and testing, as well as expanded sick and leave programs. Our focus also shifted to getting a high number of our associates vaccinated. Our company educated our associates on the importance of the COVID-19 vaccines and provided resources and information throughout the year on how to get vaccinated. We provided paid time off for associates to get vaccinated and to stay home if they had side effects. When possible, we made it easy for associates to get vaccinated by holding vaccination clinics at our work sites across the country and at our Marysville wellness center. In the parking lot of our world headquarters, our company partnered with the local county health department to hold two drive-through vaccination clinics that were open to the community. We also provided a cash incentive for hourly associates to get vaccinated and gave away two cars via a drawing for frontline associates who got vaccinated. As COVID-19 testing solutions evolved, our company made sure that our associates had and continue to have convenient access to testing when needed, by providing at-home rapid tests at worksites and to associates who were working remotely.
During our 2022 open enrollment, we raised the bar on the programs and support our company offers to associates, announcing enhancements to our U.S. benefit programs that continue to prioritize health, safety and well-being, while also creating more inclusiveness and support for families. some highlights include:
- We enhanced our sick time benefits (increased from 24 hours to 56 hours a year) for our hourly workforce to enable our associates to take care of themselves and their loved ones.
- Recognizing that a life partner can be someone other than a married spouse, we expanded all of our benefit programs and policies to include same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partner coverage.
- Knowing that their families at home are the top priority for our associates, we made several enhancements to expand support families.
- We expanded our parental leave benefit to give parents more time to bond with new family members. Now, new parents can receive up to 10 weeks of parental leave (in addition to 8 weeks of paid Maternity leave for new mothers).
- We introduced a new benefit called Maven to provide support and advice related to pathways to parenthood, including pregnancy, fertility, adoption and surrogacy. Maven is the largest virtual clinic for women’s and family health and will provide our associates and their partners with unlimited virtual access to specialists and their own care advocate, among many other services.
- We increased our financial benefits for adoption, surrogacy and fertility and also added coverage for Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy for Autism spectrum Disorders.
- We encouraged associates to get back on track with their wellness after the long pandemic by holding health screening events at our u.s. worksites. We also re-introduced Wellness incentives, rewarding healthy metrics for those enrolled in our group health plan. Nearly 75% of our eligible associates completed a screening.
- We built financial incentives into our group health plan to encourage associates to get the COVID-19 vaccine and their annual flu shot. We also held onsite flu shot clinics, resulting in 80% of eligible associates in our group health plan receiving a flu shot.
Here are some additional highlights of our various efforts:
- In recent years, we established an annual 401(k) profit-sharing matching program whereby if we reach or exceed profitability targets in a given year, certain U.S. associates not eligible for an annual bonus will receive a 401(k) profit-sharing matching contribution the following year. profit-sharing contributions were paid out in 2021 to over 2,500 associates, and will also be paid out in early 2022 based on our FY2021 performance.
- We also took steps to strengthen our retirement plan for our Canadian associates by increasing our company matching contribution in 2021. We added a profit-sharing matching program, similar to the U.S. program.
- We want to make ownership of ScottsMiracle-Gro stock a reality for as many of our associates as possible. We do this through our Discounted stock purchase plan (DSPP), which provides a unique opportunity for our associates to buy our Common shares at a 15% discount. In 2021, we also offered our DSPP plan to Canadian associates for the first time.
Since 2009, our associates have maintained vegetable gardens at company headquarters, utilizing our various growing products. Much of the produce grown in these gardens is donated to local food banks to provide fresh vegetables for healthy meals to our neighbors who lack them. To date, our associates have donated over 41,000 pounds of produce from these gardens. The Associate Garden is one of the most significant traditions on our campus. Although the garden initially started as a training ground for associates to get their hands dirty, try out our new innovations and learn first-hand how our products work, it also gave us the chance to give back to our local communities.
Give Back to Gro
Our commitment to giving back to our communities is an important element of our corporate culture. We support our associates in their efforts to give back to their communities through our Give back to Gro Associate Community Service program. Our associates serve as goodwill ambassadors of ScottsMiracle-Gro by volunteering with local community organizations. We offer two paid days off per year to all eligible associates to volunteer. In 2020, this totaled more than 94,000 hours. Our associates use this time to plant community gardens, build houses, mentor students and beautify their communities, among other causes.
Associate Board and Support Fund
Our Scotts Associate Board exists to improve morale and enrich the work environment for our associates. It does this by providing services, activities, education and social and volunteer opportunities. Additionally, the Scotts Associate board provides support services that enable our associates to both extend and receive a helping hand when needed. Since its inception, the Scotts Associate Board has supported more than 250 associates and generated more than $430,000 in associate contributions.
Hawthorne Associate Board
The Hawthorne Associate board works closely with the Scotts Associate board and its leaders to coordinate, plan and execute company-wide events. The Hawthorne Associate board strives to provide our associates with opportunities for fun and exciting community engagement, morale-building and team-building experiences with friends, families and fellow associates. Hawthorne’s Associate board also contributes community donations to causes and organizations across the country.