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Hormel Foods has a proud tradition of attracting top talent and fostering long-term career growth by promoting from within, offering competitive compensation and benefits, offering training and providing a safe work environment.

We believe our employees are our most important asset. In fiscal year 2015, we had 20,713 employees as part of our company, in more than 50 plants and offices worldwide. We invite you to learn more about our people here, as well as in our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report


Professional Development

Investing in Employee Growth

At Hormel Foods, continuous improvement and innovation are not only a way of life for our products, but also for our employees. These principles are the foundation for our personnel development and a means to encourage continuous growth. We know it’s also important to help employees manage their long-term financial goals, which is why we offer retirement planning education workshops.

For more information about our employee programs, please visit our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.

Performance Review Program

Hormel Foods employs a formal employee performance and learning management system for more than 3,000 team members. Administered through the corporate learning and development team, this evaluation process provides a structure for managers to meet with each of their direct reports to evaluate development and training needs, as well as set priorities for the employee’s advancement.

More information about our performance review program can be found in our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.


Training is an integral part of developing and growing the skills that foster long-term careers and high employee satisfaction at Hormel Foods. Training is based on applicability to employees’ daily activities; therefore, the number of training hours per employee varies across the company. Some of our training programs include:

  • Accountability,
  • Accounting,
  • Benefits,
  • Communication skills,
  • Computer skills,
  • Diversity and inclusion,
  • Executive leadership,
  • Food safety,
  • Interpersonal skills,
  • Management/leadership,
  • Negotiation,
  • Operations,
  • Reliability/maintenance,
  • Sales,
  • Six Sigma, and
  • Workplace safety.

Our career development efforts facilitate and encourage career enhancement and advancement. We also offer educational assistance to reimburse eligible employees for undergraduate, graduate and preparatory courses.

View the latest training data in our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.

Hormel Foods Training Courses Examples

  • Leading for Success Advanced Seminar: Consumer Products Sales (CPS) employees participate in the Leading for Success Advanced Seminar, which is designed to further advance skill sets through additional training and development sessions. Participants also spend time with the CPS executive leadership team.
  • Manager training: Employees of Hormel Foods from various company locations participate in manager training. Participants are chosen from different areas of the company to diversify the conversation and provide an opportunity to network across different locations. The event focuses on coaching, developing leadership skills, human resources, performance management and compensation.
  • Foodservice sales training: Foodservice sales employees from across the country complete this program, which provides newer employees with a better understanding of how to more effectively sell the benefits of the company’s products, become a consultative seller and better represent Hormel Foods and our brands. The training includes presentations by the foodservice marketing team that highlight the full line of products the foodservice division offers.


We offer competitive compensation and benefits to attract and retain top talent. Full-time employees at all U.S. locations are eligible for disability coverage, life insurance, health care and retirement programs. Part-time and seasonal employees may be eligible for benefits based on the hours they work and their length of service.

Counseling Resource Service

Hormel Foods offers employees and their family members access to free, confidential counseling services. Employees can contact the service for information concerning work; home and life issues related to grief and loss; child care and elder care referrals; mid-life transitions; staying fit after age 50; budgeting; “empty nest” syndrome; and retirement planning. Users can obtain these services: online; over the phone; through printed materials (tip sheets, booklets, kits, etc.); and via digital materials (CDs and videos).

Retirement Savings Plans

Hormel Foods employees are eligible for a retirement savings plan that includes company contributions. In fiscal year 2015, the company contributed $30.8 million to its defined contribution benefit plans. Hormel Foods also paid $22.7 million to its defined benefit plans and continues to maintain these plans on a fully-funded basis.

Educational Assistance

Our educational assistance program reimburses eligible employees for undergraduate, graduate and preparatory course fees, books and lab fees up to the Internal Revenue Service limits.

Adoption Assistance

Hormel Foods offers adoption benefits to employees. These benefits include financial reimbursement, leave of absence and resource and referral services for up to three adoptions per household during the employee’s time with the company.

More information about our employee benefits can be found in the careers section.

Wellness Our Way

Hormel Foods understands that maintaining leadership in our industry requires optimal performance from our employees. We also understand that employees perform best when they are healthy. We aim to cultivate and maintain a culture of wellness that is focused on encouraging and empowering our staff to make healthy lifestyle choices through awareness, prevention and positive behavior change. To that end, we have a companywide health initiative called Wellness Our Way, which includes activities and resources such as:

  • Wellness challenges: Wellness challenges are offered periodically throughout the year. The contests are structured to encourage participation from all employees. Challenge themes have included: fitness, stress relief and overall total wellness.
  • LifeWorks Employee Resource Program: LifeWorks is a confidential program available to all employees and their families to help find practical solutions for issues (e.g., staying healthy, financial issues, managing stress, raising children, relationships, assisting aging parents, etc.). The program is free of charge and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • On-site Fitness Centers and Fitness Center Discounts: Employees at our Corporate Offices (Austin, Minn.) have access to on-site state-of-the-art fitness centers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A variety of fitness classes are offered for employees throughout the year, such as yoga and high intensity interval training. In addition, Hormel Foods offers commercial fitness center discounts to eligible employees who participate in our medical coverage.


The goal of our compensation packages is to attract, retain, motivate and reward high-performance individuals. Hormel Foods aims to uphold internal equity while remaining competitive with external labor markets and ensuring consistent and non-biased pay programs. Information about our employee tenure can be found in our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.

Under our merit-based process, managers assign individual performance ratings to staff in conjunction with our formal performance management process. This involves annual written performance appraisals, which require multiple levels of approval. A team member’s individual performance and relative position to the external labor market determines his or her merit increase.

For our salaried employees who are part of the corporate organization, Hormel Foods conducts an independent third-party analysis to statistically review pay differences by gender, minority and age to ensure non-discriminatory pay practices. The results of this analysis showed no pay inequities. We plan to expand this type of analysis throughout our organization at all levels.

To learn more about executive compensation, visit the performance-based executive compensation section.

Profit Sharing

Hormel Foods established our profit sharing plan in 1938 as a method to return a portion of the company’s profit back to employees, either as a payment in cash or as a contribution to the Joint Earning Profit Trust Plan. We announced the largest annual profit sharing in company history for fiscal year 2015, which was distributed to eligible employees: nearly $17.8 million.


Hormel Foods offers flexible work arrangements, which includes flex-time and alternative work schedules, partial work arrangements, telecommuting and a summer-hours program for our employees to maintain a healthy, happy work-life balance.

Additionally, Hormel Foods offers a phase-back option for employees following the birth of a child, adoption or placement of a child in foster care. This option allows employees to spread out their 12 weeks of leave allotted through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) over a 24-week period.

The Hormel Foods flex-force program provides adaptable employment opportunities for retirees who elect to return to the workplace. These employees can assume a variety of responsibilities in the roles they held prior to retirement on a part-time or intermittent basis. This could include vacation coverage, temporary or weekend coverage, mentoring or training new staff, project work or filling other short-term employment needs.


At Hormel Foods, diversity is defined as the similarities and differences we share with one another, encompassing a variety of personal attributes, values and organizational roles. Embracing all of the ways in which we are different — beyond race and gender — fosters innovation and cultivates an environment filled with unique perspectives in which people feel challenged and excited to come to work every day, and where they aspire to remain for the duration of their careers.

Our human resources department is actively implementing initiatives related to diversity and inclusion, including training programs and solidifying relationships with organizations at higher education institutions to increase the variety of our talent pools. Scorecards for business units and an inclusion index to track and monitor progress related to these initiatives are also key components of the companywide program.

Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Councils

Internal groups at Hormel Foods, such as the Executive Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee and the cross-functional Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council, are champions of diversity and inclusion and advocates for change. The Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council is responsible for implementing the diversity and inclusion strategic plan throughout the entire organization, which provides a roadmap for building a culture of inclusion by creating an environment where employees feel engaged and are encouraged to actively participate in discussions centered around building their career aspirations (whether through employee resource groups (ERGs), mentoring or other development opportunities). The council is responsible for:

  • Creating measurable goals for the organization based on the diversity and inclusion strategic plan;
  • Creating a task force to execute goals;
  • Providing quarterly metrics to the Executive Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee related to representation, recruitment, advancement and turnover;
  • Demonstrating and championing inclusion initiatives;
  • Publishing diversity and inclusion efforts and successes in internal and external publications; and
  • Encouraging and supporting the development of ERGs in support of enhancing the understanding of the similarities and differences we share.

Information about our 2015 diversity programs can be found in our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.

Fair Employment

Company founder, George A. Hormel, was instrumental in promoting the first child labor laws in the U.S. He was obligated to work when he was a young boy, and it was his hope that in the future no child would be forced into a similar situation of exploitation.

Hormel Foods complies with the age regulations set forth by local, state and federal laws. We look to hire the best talent through local talent recruitment methods. We also have a long and proud history of promoting team members from within the company.

In compliance with U.S. employment laws, we do not hire anyone under the age of 18 at our processing facilities. Our policies do not tolerate child labor or forced labor at our facilities or within our supply chain, and we forbid the use of forced prison labor.

We value the individual at Hormel Foods. Our policies protect each employee’s right to a workplace in which everyone follows laws, avoids discriminatory practices and shows respect for one another. If for any reason an employee feels that he or she has received treatment that does not align with these expectations, an anonymous third-party hotline is available to report the discrepancy. A team is assigned to review each issue and find a resolution. In 2015, there were no human rights incidents determined to be violations of our Code of Ethical Business Conduct.

Information about collective bargaining agreements can be found in the 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.


Hormel Foods fully adheres to immigration hiring practices according to all local and federal guidelines. We have voluntarily used the E-Verify system since its inception in 1997. Administered by the Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the Social Security Administration, this program verifies the eligibility of an employee to work in the U.S. We also participate in the Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (IMAGE) program with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which assists us with verification efforts and enhances fraudulent document awareness through education and training.

Human Rights

Human Rights Statement

Our human rights practices and expectations are part of our Code of Ethical Business Conduct, other policies, Supplier Responsibility Principles and supplier contracts.

Hormel Foods follows local and national laws in the U.S. and other regions in which we operate. To ensure adherence to our Code of Ethical Business Conduct, we established a compliance program that upholds accountability through reporting, tracking and investigating possible violations of the code. The Audit Committee of the company’s Board of Directors oversees the compliance program. In order to facilitate anonymous employee feedback and address concerns, we provide a hotline number and website that is operated by an independent, third-party organization. In 2015, there were no human rights incidents determined to be violations of our Code of Ethical Business Conduct.

Hormel Foods recognizes the international principles and guidelines aimed at promoting and protecting human rights, including the:

  • International Bill of Human Rights;
  • International Labour Organization Conventions;
  • International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work;
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises;
  • U.N. Declaration of Human Rights;
  • U.N. Global Compact’s 10 Principles; and the
  • U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

When Hormel Foods considers international investments, acquisitions and joint ventures, as part of the due diligence process we conduct research on human rights parameters to ensure compliance with all governing country or province laws regarding investment agreements, including:

  • Verifying that the workforce is of appropriate and legal age.
  • Determining whether the company is in compliance with the governing country or province laws regarding paying for overtime, as well as setting aside and disbursing legally required employee welfare funds for areas such as housing and education.
  • Addressing overarching questions to determine whether the company adheres to all governing country or province laws and whether there are outstanding litigation or enforcement actions underway or expected.
  • Documenting the company’s adherence to employee safety and right to work policies, ensuring they meet governing country or province laws.

Information about employee safety, discrimination, training, human rights training and diversity is reported annually in the people section of our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.

Our human rights statement is reviewed annually by the vice president of human resources. The company’s Code of Ethical Business Conduct is reviewed yearly by the Audit Committee of the company’s Board of Directors.

Safety and Well-Being

Hormel Foods is known for its award-winning safety programs. Our dedicated corporate safety department develops and administers companywide policies to ensure the protection of each employee and compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. The corporate safety department also conducts annual audits of our manufacturing plants to ensure compliance with company safety policies. View our latest safety data in our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.

Safety Training

Our corporate safety department administers the monthly, Our Way to Safety employee training program. Plant safety managers coordinate monthly train-the-trainer safety meetings for plant supervisors.

Examples of topics covered by the trainings include:

  • Electrical safety,
  • Emergency action plans,
  • Ergonomics,
  • The global harmonized system for hazard communication,
  • Inclement weather,
  • Lockout–control of hazardous energy,
  • Machine guarding, and
  • Personal protective equipment.

There are 134 automated external defibrillator (AED) devices located in Hormel Foods plants and approximately 1,900 trained responders. Response team members receive biennial training in blood borne pathogens, first aid, CPR and the use of the AED. AED readiness is ensured through a daily check of the AEDs. The lives of four employees have been saved since the inception of the AED program at Hormel Foods in 2008.

Companywide safety conferences are held biennially, and the 2015 Our Way to Safety Conference included safety management and industrial engineering employees from all company locations, along with members of the Corporate Safety Steering Committee. The theme of the conference was “One Team One Goal,” which focused on the establishment of a new companywide safety initiative to reduce employee injuries and illnesses.

View our latest safety training information in our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report.

Safety Management

Hormel Foods has a Corporate Safety Steering Committee that provides companywide safety process leadership to all business units of Hormel Foods and its subsidiaries. Hormel Foods has long been at the forefront of the industry in employee safety, and this committee further drives our leadership in this area.

The goals of the committee include:

  • Driving continuous improvement of the safety process;
  • Analyzing key safety metrics and worker compensation trends;
  • Evaluating and approving initiatives that will support continuous improvement of the safety process;
  • Cascading standardization of the safety process to all business units; and
  • Demonstrating safety champion commitment to always ensure employee safety as the No. 1 priority.

Our Safety, Health and Ergonomic Policy states that the safety, well-being and comfort of each employee is a team effort requiring everyone’s participation. Each location operates with a manager responsible for the program and a committee that meets monthly to review and discuss topics and ideas. The committees are responsible for assisting in the development of the plant’s protection processes and keeping employees engaged. In addition, they perform monthly care and ergonomic audits, and when necessary, ensure corrective actions are implemented. Companywide, our safety committees are comprised of approximately 2,000 hourly and salaried employees.

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Employee Engagement

At Hormel Foods, we believe that a more engaged workforce leads to a more innovative, productive and profitable company. We take specific steps to increase the engagement of our people, beginning with our biennial Employee Engagement Survey to secure feedback from our people to help understand what engagement at Hormel Foods really means to them, and how it can be enhanced.

In 2013, employee engagement increased from the 2011 survey. Seventy-one percent of respondents were in agreement with statements that measure overall engagement. Our employee response rates continue to outperform the manufacturing industry average of 65 percent.

To help drive change throughout the company, Hormel Foods designates “survey champion” leaders, who are charged with explaining and sharing survey results with their direct reports. Survey meetings are conducted across the company to identify key opportunities for improvement. Corresponding action plans are developed as a result of these meetings. Hormel Foods believes this process helps us drive change in the company and equips leaders with a roadmap to identify opportunities for improvement.

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