Proving the ROI of workplace education
As the largest protein company in the United States, Tyson Foods employs more than 122,000 people, many of whom are immigrants or new Americans. Language and cultural barriers, along with varying levels of education and limited access to social resources, have created challenges at home and at work for some of their team members – things like opening a bank account or filling out a form.
To address some of these challenges, in 2016 Tyson partnered with adult education providers and nonprofits to launch a workplace education pilot in two plants near their corporate headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas. This pilot offered team members free access to classes in English, high school equivalency, U.S. citizenship, and training on other life skills.
Initially expecting a small percentage of workers to enroll, they were surprised when nearly half the workforce signed up for the program at one of the pilot locations.
Those who enrolled reported the classes allowed them to more fully participate at work, home and in the community. Upon seeing the success of the pilot, Tyson formalized it into a workplace education program called Upward Academy and is now offering the program in 36 locations in 7 states. In partnership with FSG’s Talent Rewire Innovation Lab and the ROI Institute, Tyson discovered Upward Academy is producing a 123% ROI in terms of employee retention.
- For our pilot, it was important to start small. This allowed us to learn how to engage with and support our interns and our employees so the project would be successful. We developed the program in record speed and we did it with very strong partnerships, both internally and externally. Working with Talent Rewire and Grads of Life exposed us to a lot of great resources to help us with this process.
Talent Acquisition Leader
- Through our opportunity employment journey, we discovered that there are a lot of non-profits and social enterprises out there that are getting folks job-ready and just need employers to partner with them. It's been a huge win-win for us because we have found that the partners bring job-ready candidates and some of these support services that we were trying to figure out how to do but I'll be honest, it's not our sweet spot. We have provided a culture of acceptance, a sense of belonging, and for a lot of these folks, a first gig or a first-second gig and opportunities for them to grow and learn transferable skills they can take into that next job for them.
SVP of People
- We were losing some of our best people because of financial insecurity. So we decided to do something about it. With access to emergency loans, our employees can better able take care of pressing needs in their personal lives while building credit. In return, our company experiences reduced absenteeism, higher morale, and more focused employees. Income Advance helps us demonstrate our commitment to our employees’ well-being.
- According to the ILO Global Employment Trends for Youth 2017 report, one-third of the world’s young people are not engaged in employment, education or training, which can dramatically impact their skills development, earning capacity, long-term employability and wellbeing. As a major employer of young people, McDonald’s has the potential and the scale to help bridge this opportunity gap.
Executive Vice President, Global Chief People Officer
- This strategic partnership with Monroe Community College will enhance ESL’s commitment to developing, promoting, and retaining a talented, diverse workforce. It will benefit talented students from a variety of backgrounds who are interested in earning scholarship dollars, internship credit, and part-time employment with ESL — all while earning their associate’s degrees.
ESL Federal Credit Union
- FSG helped us articulate the business value of our program while never asking us to compromise on heart or passion. They prove how industry requires both for success.