Increasing Employee Engagement and Accountability at Mattel

The world's largest toy company, manufacturing and marketing toy products worldwide, with $5.7 billion in sales in 2016. Came to Hudson to increase staff engagement and accountability in taking ownership for outcomes.

Mattel, Inc. has a long history of innovative leadership development, and it has even adopted the slogan “An Always Learning Culture” to underline how important a learning approach is to sustaining a strong cadre of leaders in the organization. They face a common challenge – the need for more engagement and accountability in taking ownership for outcomes. Mattel realized a crucial component would be to develop a coaching mindset and basic coaching skills across the organization in order to foster full engagement, rapid learning and ongoing accountability at all levels within the organization.



  • Need for more accountability and ownership of outcomes for staff at all levels
  • Desire for a coaching product that develops staff, and can be offered organization-wide
  • Mattel wanted to see results quickly, so they were looking for a solution that had a proven track record of success and that was practical as well as easy to implement in the organization



Mattel brought in The Hudson Institute’s Coaching for Managers: The Spot Coaching Approach to address this need. This model provides practical coaching skills to managers, which they can use on a daily basis to help their teams become more solution-oriented, and less dependent on managers to solve problems.

They opted for the Train-the-Trainer approach, which allowed them to certify internal trainers, who then rapidly scaled the training across the organization globally in Asia, Central America, South America, and Australia.



Improved Ability to Have Difficult Conversations
Prior to Spot Coaching, there was a tendency in the organization for managers to quickly defer to HR generalists for difficult conversations, and in the process the managers would miss important opportunities to coach members of their team around critical issues. This is now shifting, and managers versed in coaching skills now feel more prepared and confident to engage in difficult conversations using a coaching mindset and structure.

More Initiative & Ownership
Staff have a greater willingness to take initiative and become more strategic in their roles as managers and leaders. They feel they have a greater understanding about their own skills and capacity.

Coaching Culture
As more managers are experiencing the Spot Coaching Approach, it influences the wider system and people are noticing more than ever when developmental opportunities arise.

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