Professional Development

Professional Development

Investing in Employees

Professional DevelopmentProfessional development involves regular performance reviews, comprehensive training and opportunities for career enhancement and advancement. At Hormel Foods, continuous improvement and innovation are a way of life. This Our Way principle reminds employees that the company cares about personal development and encourages continuous growth in their careers. We also know it is important to help employees manage career endings, and we do this by offering ongoing retirement planning education.

Topics in this section include:

Performance Review Program

We understand how important it is for our employees to feel challenged and valued, so we conduct regular performance reviews annually with more than 99 percent of salaried employees, 92 percent of office hourly employees and 49 percent of plant hourly employees. Reviews for salaried and office hourly employees include an assessment of current job performance and mutual employee/supervisor setting of goals for the next year. They also discuss work/life balance, career development, training needs and opportunities, current job performance and satisfaction.

Specifically, among our Corporate Office employees we employ a formal annual needs evaluation and training enrollment process. Administered through Corporate Learning and Development, it provides structure for managers to meet with each direct report, evaluate development needs and identify training to be delivered along with priorities for the employee’s development.

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To support our tradition of fostering long-term careers, employees receive formal training applicable to their level of responsibility and expertise throughout their career at Hormel Foods. The total hours spent on training in fiscal year 2010 was 321,750. This equaled about 16.5 hours of training per employee. The chart below shows an in-depth analysis of training hours per employee group at Hormel Foods.

Click here to show related graph.

Because training is based on applicability to employees’ daily activities, hours of training per employee vary across the company. Some of our training programs include:

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

Our career development efforts feature training and coaching that facilitate and encourage career enhancement and advancement. We offer educational assistance to reimburse eligible employees for undergraduate, graduate and preparatory course fees.

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Hormel Foods Manager Training

  • Manager Training: Twenty Hormel Foods Employees from 12 company locations participated in manager training led by Randy Krug, corporate manager of learning and development. The three-day event focused on coaching employee performance sessions, situational leadership, human resources issues, Career Connection, performance management and compensation.

  • Advanced Sales Seminar: Twenty-two consumer products sales (CPS) employees from across the country recently visited Austin, MN, to participate in the fourth annual Advanced Sales Seminar. The week-long session was packed with skill-building sessions designed to further prepare CPS employees for a solid future with Hormel Foods and the CPS division. The week included negotiation and presentation workshops, presentations about behavioral styles and interactive workshops highlighting the full line of CPS products.

  • Quality Control University: Seventeen quality control employees from nine company locations graduated from the 2009 Quality Control University. The Hormel Foods corporate quality management team developed the program to train employees with two to five years of quality control experience with the company. The graduates attended four one-week sessions throughout the year, covering topics on food safety, government regulations, sanitation requirements, good manufacturing practices and more than 60 company quality programs. Along with classroom training, the sessions included hands-on experience such as conducting a sanitation audit and a hazard analysis.

  • Foodservice Management Completes Harvard Business School Publishing Management and Leadership Training Program: Approximately 50 Hormel Foods employees (including foodservice executives and employees from corporate sales, corporate marketing and chain account sales) completed the program, which began in 2008 with online and on-site components comprised of various modules, case studies, articles and facilitated discussions focused on management and leadership strategy and skills.

  • Our Way to Safety Conference Attendees
  • Our Way to Safety Conference: Forty Safety Management employees from various company locations, along with members of the corporate safety steering committee, attended the company-wide 2009 Safety Conference focused on the company’s safety process. Guest speakers from the American Meat Institute, Bunzl, Mine Safety Appliances and Safety Management Services also presented at the event.

  • Consumer Products Sales (CPS) Harvard Business School Management and Leadership Training Program: CPS managers participated in the launch of the Harvard Business School Management and Leadership Training Program. The training included various online modules and simulations for skill building practical help for managers on key topics, articles and facilitated discussions focused on management and leadership skills and strategies. The program was the first of its kind available to the CPS management team.

  • Meat Products and Grocery Products marketers participated in the launch of the Harvard Business Publishing Excellence in Marketing training program. The program includes various on-line modules and simulations for skill building and practical help on key topics, articles and facilitated discussions focused on strategy/innovation, finance, brand equity and integrated communications. The program was the first of its kind available to these marketing teams.

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Patent Issued for Poultry Breast Saw Invented by Two Jennie-O Turkey Store Employees
Jerry Schmiesing, a department supervisor, and Steve Ritter, a maintenance employee were recognized May 11th at Jennie-O Turkey Store in Melrose, MN, for their poultry breast saw invention, which improved production efficiencies, employee safety and ergonomics. The employees were each presented with a patent plaque and received a company stock award. When Jennie-O Turkey Store began selling split rotisserie breast in the late 1990s, the whole breast was manually cut in half with precision using a single-bladed saw. The process required four employees to rotate because of cold and sore hands.

When sales of the product increased, Jennie-O Turkey Store team members realized they could not continue the manual process and keep up with demand; as a result, the search began for a semi-automated or automated piece of equipment. The company eventually located a splitter from an outside supplier; however it could not continuously split the whole breast in half with the required precision.

Schmiesing and Ritter began assembling ideas to build a splitter in-house. After they crafted a plan, a saw was built, input into sample production runs and modified. After six weeks, they developed a breast splitting machine that today is used to precisely split 40 pieces per minute.

The machine was made operational in 2006, and in February 2010 Hormel Foods was awarded a patent for the machine.

Featured in 2009 Selling Power magazine
In addition to recognizing our employees, Hormel Foods also received an honor and recognition as one of the best companies to sell for. Hormel Foods was listed as the fourth best company to sell for in 2009 Selling Power magazine.

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  • Executive Summary

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