Well-Being and Well-Becoming: Creating the Future of Work Communities — Angela Mangiapane
Around the globe, companies are rethinking the world of work. Many of the trends accelerated by the pandemic — from hybrid work models and technology-driven workspaces to flexible hours and more employee autonomy overall — are now mainstream practices. The change in office norms during the pandemic also brought an increased focus on safeguarding employee mental health and embedding a focus on overall health into workplace cultures.
As employees are increasingly looking for companies that will support their well-being today and “well-becoming” tomorrow, employers are pursuing people strategies that focus on the whole person. “Bring your whole self to work” is the new corporate mantra. But what does that concept mean, exactly?
We posed the question to Angela Mangiapane, currently president of Mars Global Services at Mars, Incorporated, a family-owned, multinational consumer goods company. Throughout her career, in diverse financial and talent leadership roles, and also through her service as chair of Economics of Mutuality — a new business model with the well-being of the world at its core — Angela has emerged as an inspiring, collaborative leader who is unwaveringly true to her personal values and authentic self.
Angela, before “Bring your whole self to work” became common speak, you were already living the concept. What does it mean to you?
To stay healthy and well, and to thrive in an environment where our true selves are accepted, we need to move from the dual concept of the “professional self” and “personal self” to a more integrated perspective.
The need for a unified view has emerged many times in my career. One example: When I went to work for Royal Canin in France, I initiated the working lunch, which was part of the norm when I was based in the U.S. My French Associates seemed surprised; I misinterpreted their surprise as delight. One day, after suggesting a working lunch over pizza, I noticed some team members looking at each other, and I asked what was wrong. They told me that they looked forward to their lunch individually, as it was an opportunity to connect with other friends onsite and take a break so they can feel recharged in the afternoon. I had interpreted their initial reaction as positive, but in truth, they were shocked at the new routine. Going forward, I used the “occasional” collective lunch as an opportunity to check in on how everyone was doing personally — creating an environment where team members felt they could truly ask me anything and express whatever was on their mind.
Over the years, a key part of your work has been designing a mutually beneficial workplace culture. What have you learned?
The heart of creating an engaging culture is deciding what experiences we want our people to have. I believe the employer-employee contract has shifted to a partner-to-partner perspective, where employers and employees are Associates. Together, we’re looking for ways to make it easier for all to bring their best to their jobs, to their team, and to our company stakeholders.
The pandemic opened up new perspectives on what the workplace can be. We learned a lot of people are productive working from home, but for others, remote work can have unintended consequences, like feelings of isolation. One program that’s worked well for our group is digital health tools that have helped people prioritize their personal well-being. They include an Associate Assistance Program offering readily accessible emotional support as well as legal, financial, and career resources.
As the definition of the workplace continues to evolve, and technologies revolutionize how we work, we strive to be ever mindful of keeping human beings front and center of our workplace culture. It’s about focusing on the positive impact we can have on each other, wherever we are in the workplace — and in the world.
Your perspective is an inspiring one, Angela. Thank you for sharing it with us!
A values-driven and human-centric leader, Angela Mangiapane brings to business and board service a creative transformation perspective — at the intersection of financial progress, social good, and human capital investment. She has served in a variety of leadership roles throughout her career and is currently channeling her expertise into board service. Angela is chair of Economics of Mutuality, a public interest foundation devoted to transforming the economic system through creating a mutuality of benefits among all stakeholders. She serves as co-chair of the Conference Board, a global nonprofit “think tank,” as well as on the advisory board of SSON, a professional networking group for high-level professionals.
Connect with Angela Mangiapane on LinkedIn.
Angela Mangiapane - Purpose-Driven Transformation Expert
Purpose Driven Transformation Expert - Angela Mangiapane