Great Places to Work: Campbell Soup Company

The world has long known about the Campbell Kids, those Chunky Soup-guzzling icons of this household-name company. Each day, though, several dozen real-life Campbell kids can be seen cavorting at the company’s main campus.

The Campbell Soup Company in Camden is one of our Great Places To Work.
Photo by Chris Crisman.

Campbell Soup Company
Location: Camden
NJ employees: 1,702
Chief Executive: Douglas R. Conant
Who they are: Global manufacturer and marketer of foods and simple meals
What we love: Family-friendly programs and facilities, community commitment, and a CEO who cares

These Campbell kids are daytime denizens of the Campbell’s Family Center, built 27 years ago to serve the needs of Campbell employees. Part of the Family Center is a day-care facility run by Massachusetts-based Bright Horizons for children of employees. Employees can pay weekly for their kids, from infants through kindergarten age, and also for one-day emergencies.

“That makes things so much easier,” says Nancy Reardon, Campbell senior vice president and chief human resource and communications officer. “If you get stuck and your babysitter gets sick, you can bring your child in.” In the summer, the day-care center, with its playground and gym equipment, ramps up, taking children as old as 9 who attend school the rest of the year.

A gym in the Family Center building is  more heavily used by employees before and after work. “You can drive here and park, like I do, about 7 am and see people already completing their workouts,” says Reardon. There are aerobics, dance, and other exercise classes, and groups that meet to run the half-mile loop around the grounds. Other family-friendly perks include telecommuting for certain employees, job sharing, and the free 8-week Healthy Returns program for new moms coming back to work.

Credit Doug Conant, CEO since 2001, with creating an upbeat culture. He frequently holds feedback lunches with employees and is known for the handwritten notes he sends congratulating employees on their personal and professional successes. Reardon says employees have caught on and send each other handwritten notes acknowledging each other’s achievements. Also adding to the upbeat atmosphere: a 401(k) plan with 60 percent matching contributions.

Campbell also has shown a major commitment to Camden, especially through its Campbell Soup Foundation, which focuses its efforts and substantial giving primarily on hometown needs.

The company reports that it is hiring “to fill critical needs to maintain the business.”

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