Company Receives Top Award from the Global Equity Organization
Public Company Information:
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Charles Schwab client Hormel Foods Corporation was recently honored for an innovative program to introduce a stock option award or similar benefit to the company’s diverse workforce. The company received the award from the non-profit Global Equity Organization, which developed the GEO Awards to recognize and honor outstanding achievements by companies operating international employee stock plans. Hormel Foods received the award for “Best Communication for Companies under 20,000 Employees” at the GEO Awards night on April 10 in San Francisco.
Hormel Foods, a multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer branded food and meat products, offered a Universal Stock Option Award in 2007 to help employees understand the impact of their individual contributions on the company’s success. Another goal of this effort was to unite a geographically and culturally diverse workforce of some 18,000 employees in the United States and internationally.
In order to educate employees about its stock option benefit, Hormel Foods and Charles Schwab worked together to develop a communications strategy that would help overcome the challenges common for a large, international company including language barriers, and limited formal education and computer access for a significant portion of the workforce. In addition, the companies needed to address how to communicate with and coordinate the participation of employees whose religious affiliations could impact their ability to accept equity ownership.
“Working with a company that has such a large and diverse workforce was a challenge that was embraced with enthusiasm by the many Schwab employees who contributed to the success of this program,” said Mark Clem, director of Corporate & Retirement Services at Charles Schwab. “We are inspired by companies like Hormel Foods that are looking to provide the best possible service and benefits, and who see the value in educating their employees about how to contribute to their own financial success.”
Schwab and Hormel Foods created welcome kits for English, Spanish and Somali speakers and coordinated with local representatives in each region to ensure that the materials met the needs of employees. They conducted 296 on-site meetings on 49 different days at hatcheries, farms and processing plants in 32 different locations, including live meetings with stock plan experts in English, Spanish and Somali. Additionally, the information presented to employees was focused not only on the basics of the stock option award — explaining what a stock option is, how to accept the award, how to open an account, etc. — but on how the award might fit into an individual’s overall financial goals.
“While the true measure of our success will be revealed over time, we believe that taking a thoughtful approach to introducing this program increased the number of employees who will benefit from ownership in our company,” said David Juhlke, vice president of human resources for Hormel Foods. “We continue to look for ways to educate our employees about the direct impact that their work has on our company’s success.”
About Schwab Corporate & Retirement Services
Schwab Corporate & Retirement Services provides a broad range of investing services through the workplace, including through employer-sponsored retirement plans direct to corporations or through a nationwide network of more than 300 retirement Third Party Administrators (TPAs). The enterprise also offers the Schwab Personal Choice Retirement Account® and provides employee equity compensation plan services and corporate brokerage services, in addition to a range of recordkeeping, custodial and trustee services, which are available through Charles Schwab Trust Company, a division of Charles Schwab Bank. Schwab Corporate & Retirement Services also includes Charles Schwab Clearing Services (CSCS), which provides mutual fund trading, settlement, and related clearing services to banks, brokerage firms and trust companies. As of March 31, 2008, assets held in Schwab Corporate & Retirement Services stood at $228 billion.
About Charles Schwab
The Charles Schwab Corporation (Nasdaq:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 7.2 million client brokerage accounts, 1.3 million corporate retirement plan participants, 318,000 banking accounts, and $1.4 trillion in client assets. Through its operating subsidiaries, the company provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC, http://www.sipc.org), and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through its Schwab Institutional division. The Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC) provides banking and mortgage services and products. More information is available at www.schwab.com. (0408-3378)