About Our Employees

About Our Employees

At Hormel Foods, our employees are our greatest asset. We count more than 19,500 employees as part of our company, in more than 41 plants and offices around the United States and joint ventures in countries such as China and the Philippines. We invite you to learn more about them.

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As a company, we measure our success in part based on the tenure of our employees. We are honored to report that 63 percent of all employees had five years or more of service at Hormel Foods in fiscal year 2011. Within this group, 16 percent had 20 years or more of service and 5 percent had 30 or more years of service. Of those who had tenure of five years or more of service, 36 percent were female and 64 percent were male; and 75 percent were hourly and 25 percent were salaried. Our 32-person officer team has an average of 26 years of service.

We also monitor and analyze turnover to identify any trends, and we have action plans to address areas of concern as warranted.

Workplace Conduct

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

As a result, 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, a third-party anonymous hotline is available to report the discrepancy. A team is assigned to review each issue and find a resolution. In 2011, there were zero incidents of discrimination. There were also no industrial disputes, strikes and/or lock-outs, and therefore we did not lose any hours of working time because these events did not occur.

Fair Employment Practices

Hormel Foods complies with the age regulations set forth by local, state and federal laws. We look to hire the best talent and do this through local talent recruitment. We also promote from within the company.

We do not hire anyone at our processing facilities under the age of 18 in compliance with employment laws of the United States. Our policies do not tolerate child labor or forced labor at our facilities, and we forbid the use of forced prison labor.

About 28 percent of our employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements. We adhere to the National Labor Relations Act and respect the right of employees to choose whether they want to organize a collective bargaining unit or not. There are no operations in which the right to exercise freedom of association and collective bargaining may be at significant risk.

In regard to potential pay differences, Hormel Foods employs an independent third-party analysis to statistically review this information by gender, minority and age to ensure nondiscriminatory pay practices, of which none were found.


Hormel Foods fully adheres to 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 United States. 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 these efforts and enhances fraudulent document awareness through education and training.

Human Rights

Human Rights Statement

Hormel Foods conducts business responsibly and ethically. Workforce posters at all locations publically endorse and acknowledge adherence to the Equal Employment Opportunity; Fair Labor Standards Act (WH Pub. 1088 10/96); Family and Medical Leave Act (WH Pub. 1420 8/01); Occupational Safety and Health Administration (dependent on state requirements); Employee Polygraph Protection Act (WH Pub. 1462 9/88); the Federal WARN Act and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994. In addition, we respect international principles aimed at promoting and protecting human rights, including the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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

  • The human resources (HR) department verifies that the workforce is of appropriate and legal age.
  • The HR and accounting departments ascertain whether the target 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.
  • The legal department addresses overarching questions to determine whether the acquisition target adheres to all governing country or province laws and whether there are outstanding litigation or enforcement actions underway or expected.
  • HR also documents the target firm’s adherence to employee safety and documented right to work policies, ensuring they meet governing country or province laws.

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 a biennial survey to help understand what engagement at Hormel really means and how it can be increased.

Compared to the 2009 Employee Engagement Survey results, employee engagement in 2011 remained unchanged, with 74 percent of respondents in agreement with statements that measure overall engagement. Our employee response rates continue to outperform the manufacturing industry average of 64 percent.

  • In 2011, Hormel Foods expanded the survey base to include seven additional subsidiaries. The survey received an 86 percent participation rate.
  • There was a significant increase in agreement with the statement: “Opportunities exist for me to research, discuss and develop my career at my company,” growing from 59 percent to 65 percent.
  • Strengths identified in the 2011 survey include high levels of agreement with the following:
    • I admire and respect my company a great deal;
    • The company shows a commitment to ethical business decisions and conduct; and
    • My immediate supervisor keeps his/her commitments.
  • Areas identified for improvement include:
    • My company’s efforts to create an inclusive environment support people like me;
    • My work environment reflects the goals and values outlined in Hormel Foods Our Way; and
    • My manager gives me feedback to help me improve my performance.

To help drive change throughout the company, leaders are designated as “survey champions” and are charged with explaining and sharing the results with their direct reports. Survey meetings are conducted across the company to identify key opportunities for improvement. Subsequent work sessions generate and use employee feedback and ideas to develop action plans to enhance each department’s engagement level. These action plans can take the form of workgroup or companywide initiatives.

As a result of the engagement improvement process, leaders develop a greater appreciation of candid feedback and discussions. Hormel Foods believes this process helps us drive change in the company and equips leaders with a tool to identify opportunities for improvement. For example, based on the most recent survey, we are planning to implement a Management Effectiveness Improvement program that will allow every manager/supervisor to write and work on an objective to improve one or more leadership behaviors.