Springdale’s Tyson Foods is thanking its frontline and hourly team members by giving them approximately $50 million in bonuses for their efforts over the past year. For team members in the U.S., these one-time bonuses will be based on tenure, range from $300 to $700, and be distributed starting this month.
“This is yet another way for us to say thank you and show how grateful we are for our frontline teams’ efforts to keep each other safe, our company strong and our world fed over the past year,” said Donnie King, president and chief executive officer of Tyson Foods. “While 2021 presented many challenges, our entire Tyson team continued to meet them, head on.”
Tyson Foods has also invested more than $500 million in wage increases and thank you bonuses for frontline workers over the past year. With average hourly pay of more than $18, plus the value of medical, dental and vision insurance, vacation and other benefits, the average total compensation for hourly team members has increased to more than $24 an hour, or an annual value of more than $50,000. This does not include overtime, an option many team members choose, or other incentives. For example, as part of the company’s efforts to protect its U.S. workforce against COVID-19, the company paid $200 to frontline team members who were fully vaccinated.
Tyson is looking at other ways to better support its frontline workforce. In addition to pay increases and signing bonuses, it is offering more flexible work schedules at some facilities and, starting Jan. 1, 2022, paid sick leave. The company has opened seven health centers to give frontline team members and their families easier access to high-quality healthcare at, in most cases, no cost. Tyson is also addressing childcare needs. For example, the company recently launched a pilot to offer access to high-quality childcare for late-shift workers at its Amarillo, Texas, beef production complex.
“Tyson wants to be the most sought-after place to work, period,” said King. “Our frontline team members tell us higher pay is important, but that’s only a part of the story—they also want more flexibility and more say over their time. In rural parts of the country, they don’t want to have to drive miles to see the doctor. Everything we’re doing is because our team members are the heart of our business and its future success.”
Tyson also provides training and development opportunities so frontline team members can further their career and personal goals. The company’s Upward Academy program, which marked its fifth anniversary in 2021, helps team members develop life skills, offering free and accessible classes in English as a Second Language (ESL), High School Equivalency (HSE), U.S. citizenship, financial literacy and digital literacy. Earlier this year, the company launched Upward Pathways, an in-plant career development program that provides frontline team members with free job skills training and workforce certifications. A third program, 1+2 Maintenance Training, is an “earn while you learn” education and career opportunity for team members interested in highly skilled, high-paying maintenance jobs. Tyson offers the program in collaboration with local community colleges in many locations, and also pays two-thirds of the tuition.