We offer competitive compensation and a benefits program that attracts and retains top talent. Full-time employees are eligible for disability coverage, life insurance, health care and retirement programs.

Topics in this section include:


The goal of our pay programs is to attract, retain, motivate and reward highly qualified employees. We aim to maintain internal equity, while remaining competitive with external labor markets and ensuring consistent and nonbiased pay programs.

Under our merit-based process, managers assign individual performance ratings to employees in conjunction with our formal performance management process. This involves annual written performance appraisals, requiring multiple levels of approval. An employee’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 parent-company organization, we conducted an independent third party analysis to statistically review pay differences by gender, minority and age to ensure nondiscriminatory pay practices. The results of this analysis showed no pay inequities. We plan to expand this type of analysis throughout our organization.

To learn more about executive compensation, visit our Performance section.

Health Care Program

Hormel Foods is proud of the health care benefits we provide to full-time employees. Competitive, affordable and comprehensive, our health care program offers medical, dental, vision and prescription drug coverage.

Wellness Our Way Program

Hormel Foods understands that being a leader in our field 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 health that is focused on encouraging and empowering employees to make healthy lifestyle choices through awareness, prevention and positive behavior change. To that end, we started a wellness initiative in 1990 and relaunched the program as Wellness Our Way in 2009.

Today Wellness Our Way is a results-oriented program, focused on helping employees live a healthier lifestyle. We reward our employees for maintaining a healthy lifestyle through wellness incentives. At our corporate offices, we offer free workout facilities. At all of our locations, employees can participate in activities to promote wellness such as health fairs and group health-related activities.

Program highlights included:

  • Hoops Hysteria Nutrition (February 27 – April 2, 2011)
    This basketball-themed program coincided with the college basketball tournament and 841 participants scored 1-, 2- and 3-point baskets for making simple food choices aimed at helping develop healthier eating patterns.
  • Journey with George Summer Walking Challenge (May 29 – September 17, 2011)
  • Teams followed the route founder George A. Hormel took from birth (in Buffalo, NY, in 1860) to retirement (in Bel Air, CA, in 1927). The goal was for teams to walk the distance from Buffalo to Bel Air (or 3,308 miles.)
  • Maintain Don’t Gain (November 28, 2011 – January 4, 2012)
  • Participants weigh-in approximately every three weeks until they weigh-out at the end of the program. The challenge goal for each of the 778 participants was to gain no more than 2 pounds from their weigh-in weight.

Counseling Resource Service

Hormel Foods offers employees and their family members access to a free, confidential counseling service. Employees can contact the service for information related to work, home and life issues related to grief and loss, childcare and eldercare referrals, midlife transitions, staying fit after age 50, budgeting, “empty nest” syndrome and retirement planning. The service provides information in many ways — online, via the telephone,through printed materials (tip sheets, booklets, kits) and through digital materials (CDs and videos).

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. In fiscal year 2011, we announced the largest annual profit sharing in company history to be distributed to eligible employees — more than $16.5 million.


The company offers flexible work arrangements, which includes flex-time schedules, alternative work schedules, partial work arrangement, telecommuting and a summer-hours program.

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

The Hormel Foods flex-force program provides flexible employment opportunities for retirees who elect to return to the workplace. These employees can assume a variety of responsibilities in the role 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.

Retirement Savings Plans

Hormel Foods employees are eligible for a retirement plan that includes company contributions. In fiscal year 2011, the company contributed $27.1 million to its defined contribution benefit plans. Hormel Foods also contributed $23.6 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.

Adoption Assistance

To assist employees at Hormel Foods who are building a family, the company offers adoption benefits that include financial reimbursement, leave of absence and resource and referral services for up to three adoptions per household during the employee’s tenure with the company.