Foster Farms Food & Beverages

Foster Farms is the largest poultry company in the western United States. Committed to delivering the highest quality products possible, they own and operate hatcheries, grow-out ranches, feed mills, processing plants, and delivery systems. Family-owned since its founding in 1939, Foster Farms today has more than 10,000 employees.

The quality of its products begins with the quality of people the company hires. The Foster Farms recruitment program looks for ”People who see change as opportunity … people who describe their skills in terms of how they might stretch and grow … people who think not of what they can do, but what they will do … people who are focused on the future.” They look for the best, and then they look for the best way to develop and retain them.

The Challenge

Foster Farms took a hard look at how they could remain competitive and recognized the need to strengthen the organization’s collective leadership skills. “We knew that good markets will come and go. We knew that true leadership will get us through good times and bad. And, we knew that we had few real leaders,” says Marty Jakosa, Manager of Organizational Development and Human Resources Manager for the company’s North Complex.

The Solution

Working with The Ken Blanchard Companies, Foster Farms created a comprehensive solution integrating aspects of Situational Leadership® II (SLII®) and Situational Self Leadership.

Results

The results have been extraordinary—beginning with a quantum leap in leadership. In addition, employee surveys showed impressive improvement in six other categories that were measured: purpose, structure, resources, rewards, processes, and relations. Beyond the survey, stories from the “front lines” are enthusiastic tales about real life applications of SLII—good reasons why Foster Farms is continuing the initiative.

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