Workforce and Culture

People are the heart of our company, and our success depends on all of us working as a team, so we call our employees team members. Team members enjoy many rights, benefits, and responsibilities at our company, such as a safe workplace, freedom from discrimination and retaliation, and compensation for work performed. These rights, benefits, and responsibilities are detailed in our Team Member Bill of Rights displayed at our locations.

Learn more about some common questions raised by people interested in our chicken business.

We foster an environment of inclusion and diversity because we know it takes the skills, thoughts, backgrounds, and talents of all our team members to be successful. We have a tradition of building leadership from within and providing education and advancement opportunities for team members at every level of the company.

Workplace Health and Safety

We view working safely as a “value” and “how we do our jobs,” rather than something we have to do. That’s why we aspire to have zero work-related injuries and illnesses, and continue to improve our culture, impressing upon all team members that all incidents resulting in an injury or illness can be prevented.

Health and Safety Governance

In fiscal 2015, we established a new safety governance structure, the Executive Safety Council, connecting the CEO to the plant safety councils. The council, championed by our president & CEO, is charged with developing and implementing a strategic plan for safety. The group advocates for an integrated approach throughout our business.

This integrated approach helps us balance the need for flexibility with maintaining the necessary structure to take advantage of best practices at all of our locations. The council also helps us avoid investing significant resources in a number of disconnected activities or tasks. Information about some important topics related to our workplace health and safety efforts is below.

  • If a team member gets hurt on the job, we require them to report it, regardless of how minor they believe it to be. We do this because we believe in early intervention to prevent further injury and start the healing process sooner.
  • We follow a systematic approach for the early reporting, intervention, evaluation, and conservative treatment of injuries and illnesses. It begins with an initial evaluation by facility-based occupational health nurses and progresses through a series of steps including medical provider referral when necessary. In addition to managing work-related cases, our occupational health nurses offer team members numerous health services, ranging from information related to diet, nutrition, and communicable diseases, to providing health screenings and influenza vaccines.
  • Our operations have ergonomics programs and strategies to help create a work environment that minimizes team member exposure to musculoskeletal risks and continually explores ways to make production jobs easier. These efforts include developing improvements in equipment, tools, and processes to make jobs less physically demanding. Examples include adjusting the height of work stations, creating more space between workers, developing exercises, coordinating job rotation, and development of new or improved, ergonomically-designed tools to make the work safer and easier. It’s not unusual for us to make changes in workstations, equipment or processes based on the feedback we receive from hourly team members who are part of one of our plant ergonomics committees.
  • Our approach to ergonomics reduces the risk factors that could cause musculoskeletal disorders, improves the overall quality of the work environment, drives process improvement, and helps our team members focus on quality work.
  • Team members spend many hours each year training to work safely and to have a clear understanding of possible health and safety hazards related to their job. Managers in our operations train regularly throughout their career in health and safety processes, and best practices. We support the continued professional education and development of our safety and health managers to insure we are leveraging the most up to date practices and processes. New Team Members receive awareness-level training regarding the health and safety hazards and procedures applicable to most jobs and work areas in their facility. Approximately 30 health and safety topics are discussed during this training.

    Safety Performance

    To measure progress on our aspiration of zero work related injuries, we measure our health and safety performance using traditional Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) incident calculations. During fiscal 2015, we reduced our Total Recordable Incident Rate by 12% and our Days Away, Restricted, and Transfer Rate by 13%, when compared to fiscal 2013. This reduction includes all Tyson Foods locations, excluding those plants that became a part of Tyson Foods in 2014 with the acquisition of The Hillshire Brands Company. In Fiscal 2015, we incorporated legacy Hillshire locations into OSHA rate data.

    FY2009* FY2010* FY2011* FY2012* FY2013* FY2014* FY2015* FY2015

    Lost Time Incident Rate1









    Total Recordable Incident Rate2









    Days Away, Restricted, and Transfer Rate3









    *Excluding The Hillshire Brands Company.

    1Number of work-related injury and illnesses that result in one or more days away from work per 100 team members.

    2Number of work-related injury and illnesses per 100 team members.

    3Number of work-related injuries and illnesses resulting in a team member missing work, having restricted work activity, or being transferred from their regular work assignment per 100 team members.

    Looking Forward

    In October 2015, we launched a pilot project designed to improve workplace safety communication, awareness and practices. The pilot project will also provide more detailed data about safety. The findings of the pilot project, which is being conducted at nine plant locations, are expected to provide the groundwork for an improved safety initiative.

    Specifically, this pilot program seeks to:

    • Align safety structure, governance, and resources
    • Improve prevention strategies through better workplace design
    • Enhance information systems to predict safety hazards and prevent them
    • Expand our safety management practices for independent contractors
    • Coaching our Operational leaders to identify hazards and prevent injuries

    Our Team Members and Hiring the Best

    We are committed to attracting, developing, and retaining a group of talented team members and to creating a workplace that allows each of our 113,000 team members to contribute to the collective success of our company. We believe we have the best team members working in the food business today and our programs and initiatives related to employment practices, compensation, benefits, talent management, diversity, inclusion, and team member relations are important to fulfilling this commitment and retaining these talented individuals.

    • 113,000

    • Total Workforce

    U.S. vs. International Team Members
    Full-Time vs. Part-Time Team Members*
    Team Member Age*

    In fiscal year 2015, 95,809 team members were paid hourly and 11,164 were salaried*.

    *US/Domestic Employees Only as of September 30, 2015

    • 72%

    • Retention Rate for All Team Members in Fiscal Year 2015.

    Additionally, 52 percent of team members had five or more years of service. Of those, 24 percent had 20 or more years and seven percent had 30 or more years of service.

    Gender Ratio of Those with 5+ Years of Service
    Paid Hourly vs. Salaried of Those with 5+ Years of Service
    Hiring the Best

    Tyson Foods is an equal opportunity employer. We maintain and administer policies and practices that ensure our compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws. We partner with several agencies, including local job services and host numerous job fairs throughout the year to attract and recruit the most qualified candidates with skills and experience that align with both the current and future needs of our company.

    Find a career opportunity with us and read our Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action statement.

    Human Rights and Labor Relations

    Our human rights practices are grounded in our Core Values, Code of Conduct, and Team Member Bill of Rights. These documents outline the many rights, benefits, and responsibilities enjoyed by our team members. These programs and our policies support the principles contained within the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labor Organization Fundamental Principles and Labor Standards. We expect our team members to be aware of their actions and actions of those around them to ensure we uphold the basic principles of human rights.

    • Tell Tyson First

    • Team Members and other stakeholders can report any suspected violations of the law, applicable regulations, company policies, or the provisions of our Code of Conduct through several avenues, collectively referred to as Tell Tyson First.

    We require all of our team members to participate in mandatory, annual ethics; anti-harassment; and anti-discrimination training to understand our policies prohibiting any kind of unlawful harassment and discrimination under applicable laws. Internal reporting avenues include our Human Resources professionals, any member of management, the Employment Compliance Department, or the Tell Tyson First Helpline.

    Labor Relations

    We respect each team member’s legal right to organize without fear of retaliation, repression, or any other form of discrimination.

    • As of October 3, 2015, approximately 31,000 team members in the U.S. were subject to collective bargaining agreements, with approximately 12 percent of those employees included under agreements expiring in fiscal 2016.
    • Approximately 5,000 team members in foreign countries were also subject to collective bargaining agreements during that time.
    • There were zero lost workdays related to disputes, strikes, or lockouts.
    Social Compliance Program Launched in Fiscal 2015

    We launched a new Social Compliance Program that allows us to be more proactive in our social compliance efforts. Our goal is to provide our customers transparency into our workplace conditions so they have reasonable assurance we make every effort to be socially responsible.

    • Established a Social Compliance Committee (SCC) to provide oversight.
    • Respond to all self-assessment questionnaires from one central department, in consultation with the committee.
    • Maintain membership to an external customer-supplier data exchange dedicated to global-supply-chain improvements.
    • Selected a reputable third-party firm to provide audit services.

    A third-party firm provides audits once every four years for each production facility. The auditors use Workplace Conditions Assessment (WCA) criteria to verify our adherence to social compliance standards. We believe our comprehensive audit program is efficient and effective for us and our customers. We share the summary audit reports for each production facility with customers upon request and post the social compliance achievement awards on our website.

    Compensation and Benefits

    • $3,787,206,690

    • U.S. Payroll

    We share our success with our team members, and we consider our compensation and benefits package to be one of the best in the industry. We believe team member compensation should be commensurate with performance. Connecting compensation, recognition, and development are all important parts of the value our team members derive as employees.

    • $13.24

    • Average Hourly Pay Rate for U.S. Team Members

    In October 2015, we announced hourly-pay increases at the majority of our chicken processing plants. These increases benefitted hourly team members in production, maintenance and refrigeration roles at 51 of our locations.

    • $836,563

    • Educational Assistance


    We’re also committed to partnering with our team members to help them become better health care consumers. Providing affordable health, life, dental, vision, and prescription drug benefits to our team members and their families is an important part of that partnership. Below is a list of the benefits offered to full-time salaried, management support, and hourly team members in 2015.

    • $493,593,030

    • Benefits Cost for U.S. Operations

    • Basic accidental death and dismemberment plan
    • Basic life insurance
    • Bereavement pay, paid sick days, jury duty pay, and military pay****
    • Chaplaincy program
    • Educational assistance program (employees only)
    • Flexible spending accounts (e.g. childcare)
    • Free diabetic test strips through mail order
    • Free medical expert opinion program
    • Free obesity management program**
    • Free online health risk assessment and wellness portal**
    • Free pregnancy support program
    • Full service credit union*
    • Long-term care insurance
    • Medical, dental, vision, and prescription medication coverage
    • Merchant discount/computer purchase program
    • Non-tobacco use premium incentive and free tobacco cessation program
    • Paid maternity leave
    • Product discounts through company-owned stores*
    • Relocation assistance
    • Retirement Savings Plan (401k)***
    • Short-term and long-term disability
    • Stock options (only offered to salaried team members at certain grade levels)
    • Stock Purchase Plan***
    • Vacation days and paid holidays
    • Vendor-supported discounts*
    • Voluntary accidental death and dismemberment plan
    • Voluntary life insurance plan
    • Voluntary Critical Illness and Accident policies
    • Voluntary Whole Life coverage
    • $0 generics for certain maintenance medications

    *Offered to part-time and temporary team members

    ** Offered to full-time salaried and management support team members only

    ***Offered to part-time and temporary team members; some bargaining units exclude per contract

    ****Unless required by law, as negotiated in a collective bargaining agreement, or as specified in pre-existing company policy, hourly workers do not receive paid sick days. However, the company does pay short-term disability for up to 13 weeks – after a five-day waiting period – and also offers long-term disability coverage at a competitive group rate. It provides 60% of their earnings tax free for up to 10 years.

    Our Chaplaincy Program

    Faith-friendly is a part of our culture. Currently, more than 91 chaplains provide compassionate pastoral care to team members and their families, no matter what their religious affiliations or beliefs might be.

    In November 2015, the work of one of our chaplains was featured in a documentary that aired on the Public Broadcasting station. Chaplains and experts featured in the film showed how these pastoral care professionals work to foster faith friendly environments in places where people might otherwise feel restricted in living out their beliefs or lack of belief. They minister to people of all religions and in places where they live and work.

    Diversity, Inclusion, and Development

    We are committed to maintaining a culture that fosters inclusion and diversity. We continue to operate an extensive inclusion and diversity training program that was originally launched in August 2005.

      • Diversity at Tyson Foods in 2015

      • Females represented nearly 39 percent of our workforce.
      • Ethnic minority Team Members represented 64 percent of our workforce
      • Of our management board, 78 percent were male and 12 percent were female. Additionally, all nine were over the age of 50.
      • Of our nine members Board of Directors, there were two women and one minority.
    Business Resource Groups

    With the acquisition of The Hillshire Brands Company, we now have ten Business Resource Groups (BRGs) including Men’s, Women’s, Multicultural, Veterans, Young Professionals, and Pride that provide affiliation and support for our Team Members through various programs and events at our Chicago, Dakota Dunes, and Springdale locations. As a part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion, we also publish a Diversity and Inclusion Report every other year highlighting our efforts.


    We support continuous learning that is relevant to our team members’ responsibilities and the company’s goals. We focus on developing the leadership, business and technical skills of our team members and opportunities that help develop skills to keep pace with the emerging needs of our customers and consumers. Whether through new hire on-boarding, advanced functional training for seasoned team members, general business skills or outside formal education, we provide many opportunities to promote professional growth and individual achievement.

    More than 15,000 Management and Management Support (5,200 Team Members in corporate roles and over 10,000 in field- and plant-based roles) team members participated in the annual performance review evaluation process to measure delivery of business performance results.

    We also offer regular performance reviews for our team members. Each year performance is evaluated against goals our team members establish with their supervisors. We set goals at the beginning of the fiscal year, assess progress formally at mid-year and year-end reviews, and believe ongoing feedback about performance is critical to our continued success.

    With an ongoing commitment to collecting team member feedback and taking action to address key areas, we are building a sustainable model for shaping a high-performance team and culture to drive future success.