Our culture strengthens our business. We believe that a positive working environment is built on empowerment, trust, continuous improvement and inclusion. With our Mission, Vision, 4i values and our PPI Business System as our operational foundation, we encourage our colleagues to help shape and cultivate our culture through participation in programs designed to elevate the colleague experience. Our focus and commitment is to create a culture where our colleagues are engaged and passionate about excelling; inspired to enable our customers make the world healthier, cleaner and safer; and committed to realizing our collective full potential.
We know that for employees to thrive, they must have meaningful work where they can learn and grow, be treated with respect and dignity, valued and recognized for their contributions, and feel connected to their colleagues and company. While we take great pride in our culture, we also recognize that there is always room for improvement, and we recognize the value of transparent communication. We measure the employee experience through our annual Employee Involvement Survey (EIS).
We saw strong and increased participation in our 2021 EIS, with 86% of our colleagues completing the survey—an increase of two percentage points from the prior year. We also received more than 120,000 written comments. When colleagues take the time to provide this deeper feedback, it demonstrates they feel their opinions are truly valued. And with their detailed input, Thermo Fisher can be more nuanced and purposeful in how we continuously improve.
With more than 100,000 colleagues worldwide, ongoing, effective communications is critical to maintaining our position as the world leader in serving science. Our commitment to keeping our colleagues informed about our company, programs and initiatives not only ensures alignment on our goals in support of our long-term vision, it strengthens our culture and employee engagement. And by fostering dialog among our colleagues, we build trust, camaraderie and teamwork.
Our comprehensive benefits and rewards offerings help our colleagues feel recognized and supported. We also want our colleagues to have the ability to recognize one another, which we made possible through the social platform “Appreciate”. Our Appreciate Program allows for real-time, specific acknowledgement of colleague contributions and service anniversaries, creating a one-company culture of recognition and facilitating peer recognition across groups and countries. It gives both colleagues and managers the opportunity to celebrate success publicly, helping colleagues feel noticed, valued and appreciated for good work - whether it is consistently living our 4i Values, fostering customer allegiance or upholding our commitments to safety, cybersecurity and our PPI Business System.
Each year, our EIS gives every colleague a voice and is used to influence our enterprise-level goals, drive leader action plans and develop more opportunities for colleagues to grow and innovate. The survey is open to 100 percent of our workforce. It is mobile-enabled and designed to be universally accessible with 23 language offerings. The survey serves as a way to capture employee feedback and deliver comprehensive and insightful analytics to our leaders and managers in the following areas:
The survey consists of 40 questions with five-point scales and comment fields available, and one open-ended question. Additionally, our colleagues are always encouraged to utilize Thermo Fisher’s [24/7] Ethics Hotline if they need to provide feedback related to a violation.
Our colleagues deserve and expect to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect. We promote a culture of trust through transparency of company goals and expectations. Our policies provide guidelines that inform how we treat our employees and how they should engage with one another. Our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics is supported by our 4i Values and reinforces the importance of engaging in ethical business practices. This policy helps communicate our commitment to providing equal employment opportunities and expresses our belief that colleagues should be treated fairly and evaluated on their contributions, and not on any personal attribute or characteristic.
We extend our commitment to respect by striving to create equitable pay practices. Pay for performance is the cornerstone of our Total Rewards philosophy, not only as it applies to salary, but to other rewards as well. For example, stock options and restricted stock units are awarded based on performance rating and pay band to eligible colleagues. Our policies ensure we are accommodating the unique needs of every employee and enabling their growth at Thermo Fisher. We recognize the barriers to achieving an equal and equitable workplace. We measure our current state and our progress toward addressing our gaps to success, such as our gender pay gap, and its root causes.