2020 GLOBAL REPORTING INITIATIVE ISSUE BRIEF

Our Culture

Why It’s Important To Us

At Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA), our culture serves as our competitive advantage and is fueled by our talented, passionate and caring employees. It’s the most powerful tool we can use to achieve our mission and vision.

We believe that nurturing differing perspectives helps us innovate, make better decisions and perform at our best. This means creating a culture of inclusion and diversity, and fostering an environment where all employees have a sense of value and belonging. Different backgrounds, cultures and ways of thinking enhance our work and help us become a better employer and consumer brand. 

Management Approach

One of our Stewardship Commitments is Fulfilled Employees. As part of this commitment, we strive to foster a culture where our employee stakeholders have a work experience that is meaningful, interesting and challenging. We demonstrate our dedication to employees by providing competitive wages, excellent benefits and opportunities for growth and development. 

One of the best ways to help our employees thrive is to create an inclusive environment that welcomes different perspectives and thinking, encourages idea sharing and inspires collaboration. We seek out events, organizations and alliances through which we can invite diverse talent to join our culture, our journey and our success.  

Shared Values: We ground our culture in five shared values, which are adopted across all TCCA operating sites: 

  • We are GOOD STEWARDS, choosing to do the right thing for the long-term for our farmers, employees, consumers, communities, environment and our brand.

  • We are committed to UNCOMPROMISING QUALITY in our products and to continuously improving the way we do our work.

  • We work together as ONE TEAM, keeping commitments to each other, valuing each other’s diverse perspectives and collaborating across the organization toward the same goal. 

  • We PLAY TO WIN, adopting a challenger mindset, innovating, never backing down and confidently pursuing growth without compromising our values or bold mission. 

  • We GENUINELY CARE for each other, serving each other with empathy and honesty; helping to keep each other safe and happy in our work and lives; and having fun together along the way.

Employee Guidebook: Our Employee Guidebook encompasses all employee policies, procedures and a common language of how we operate at TCCA. All TCCA employees are required to read and sign the Employee Guidebook during the hiring and onboarding process at each of our hiring locations (Portland, Tillamook and Boardman).  

Inclusion and Diversity: TCCA is committed to creating a climate of inclusion where all employees have an opportunity to contribute, feel valued and have a sense of belonging. Our Inclusion and Diversity Framework outlines the four goals we work toward every day and the actions we’re taking to accomplish them. These four goals are: build conscious inclusion; incorporate diversity of people and perspectives; increase cultural agility; and create social impact on our business and community. One way we put our framework into action is by training our hiring managers on inclusive hiring practices. We teach them to be aware of selection bias, and to strive for “culture add” instead of “culture fit.” Other efforts include celebrating and engaging employees in heritage events, such as Black History Month and Pride celebrations. We also forge alliances with organizations that are transforming communities and creating equitable societies.   

Collective Bargaining Agreements: Collective bargaining agreements contain the official conditions of employment for bargaining unit members.

Site Culture Committees: Each Oregon site (Tillamook, Portland and Boardman) has cross-functional Culture Committees. The Culture Committees serve to enhance the employee experience through engaging, supportive activities and events that foster meaningful connections among our employees. The key areas of focus include volunteering and learning events; holidays and celebrations; well-being; and relationship-building. We also host external speakers for our various in-house education programs.  

Tillamook Cares Volunteer Program: All employees are encouraged to participate and volunteer in community events through our formal volunteer program, Tillamook Cares. In 2020, we offered all full-time, non-union employees 16 hours of paid time to volunteer for the non-profit of their choice. 

Tillamook Giving: In alliance with Benevity, a charitable-donation management company, TCCA initiated Tillamook Gives as part of our COVID-19 Response Plan. This plan matches employee donations to non-profit organizations, up to $500 per employee annually. 

Resolution of Complaints: We strive to react promptly and respond fairly to every concern, question or complaint raised by an employee. All employees are urged to speak with their supervisor, a representative from the People and Culture Department (Human Resources), and/or provide a written complaint. A People and Culture Department representative will investigate and respond to employee concerns within seven to 10 days. This period may be extended, depending on the facts and circumstances of each case. 

Key Players: Responsible for providing responsive solutions for our employees and managers, our People and Culture Department oversees employee relations, payroll, benefits, compensation, recruiting, legal, learning and development. The team has an Executive Vice President and dedicated staff to advance these specific efforts and programs. However, we also believe that creating the culture we want and modeling our shared values is everyone’s responsibility at TCCA.  

Key Performance Indicators: The following key metrics are reported in our Stewardship Scorecard annually and are aimed to help us monitor our progress:   

  1. Gender Balance (target 50%) 

  2. Employee Retention (target 75-85%)

  3. Internal Employee Promotion (target 13%)

  4. Employee Benefits Utilization (target 80%)

  5. Workforce Diversity (target 30%)

  6. Living Wage (target 100%)

  7. Employee Volunteer Hours (target 3,500 hours)

  8. 401k Participation (target 90%)

  9. 401k Participation Under Age 35 (target 90%)

Living Wage: While employee benefits and culture are important, we recognize that paying employees a wage that enables them to support themselves is critical to our success. This is not only useful for attracting and retaining our workforce, but is key to upholding our purpose and supporting the communities we operate in. A living wage signifies the hourly rate necessary to afford adequate shelter, food and other basic necessities based on the location-specific cost of living; it is typically well above the federal and state minimum wage. We assess our hourly and salaried employees’ pay regularly, and compare it to the living wage, as calculated by the MIT Living Wage Calculator.   

KPI:  100% of our full-time employees receive a living wage.

Well-Being

We GENUINELY CARE about our employees and prioritize employee well-being. We offer a generous employee benefit package to our full-time employees, including but not limited to health care coverage; life insurance; flexible spending account; 401(k) plans with employer matching and profit sharing; short-term and long-term disability; pet insurance; and an Employee Assistance Program. In addition, we offer several voluntary plans that allow flexibility suited to an employee’s needs. More recently, we introduced a flexible work option, birthdays off with pay and public transportation passes for our Portland-based employees. 

We promote healthful living and wellness for team members and their families with options like telehealth, annual flu shots and no-cost tobacco cessation programs. We also offer fitness reimbursement programs, wholesome snacks in our employee kitchens, meditation courses, bike storage room, on-site showers, financial wellness education and company-sponsored sports teams. From May to September, we encourage employees to leave the office at noon on Fridays to start their weekend early and enjoy the Pacific Northwest summer.

To support our growing families, we provide six weeks of paid parental leave for both parents, as well as flexible return-to-work options. Nursing mothers have access to quiet mothers’ rooms at work, and a breast-milk shipping service is available for our traveling moms. We always welcome new babies with a personalized Tillamook branded baby blanket. Parents can also take advantage of a tax-advantaged strategy to pay for childcare through the Farm Service Agency program.

We provide programs to support the financial well-being of our employees. All full-time, non-union employees have access to our financial advisors, who offer advice to plan retirement goals. Our generous 401(k) plan includes a 100% employee match for up to the first 6%, which vests immediately. In addition, our employees are eligible for a profit share program based on TCCA’s financial performance the previous year. This is a lump sum contribution deposited into 401k accounts, with a target of 6.5% interest or per eligible employee. 

Learning and Development

The People and Culture Talent Team is on a mission to make connections. This team connects our communities to the Tillamook brand; connects employees with opportunities to create their own future with the right tools; provides access and an inclusive environment; and connects our work to impact the business so the business can impact the world. As a result of the pandemic, we began onboarding employees remotely, revised the New Hire Orientation and successfully rolled out a quarterly virtual New Hire Welcome. Learning & Development offers 16 instructor-led trainings, including “Building an Inclusive Culture,” “Communicating for Clarity” and “Creating Effective Presentations,” to name a few. The courses bring employees from across the business to learn together. TillaGigs is another program making meaningful connections. TillaGigs allows leaders to post short-term projects in their department; employees looking to develop skills in a new area of the business can participate. Monthly newsletters inform employees of new resources and training (including LinkedIn Learning) to help reach professional development goals. We believe leadership development is key to our culture. Through Insights Discovery workshops, LinkedIn Leadership Learning Path courses and the Pathways to Leadership program by Veras Global, we continue to invest deeply in our people. 

Tuition Reimbursement: Our Tuition Reimbursement program aids employees in earning a degree and helps our people gain the skills they need to better contribute to their role and to the organization.

Employee Referral Program: We take great pride in our talent acquisition processes and we encourage our employees to refer someone they think would be a great fit for our culture. Employees receive a paid day off for each hired referral. 

Employee Recognition

We celebrate the successes and the milestones of our team members with Extra Sharp Employee of the Month awards, longevity awards, retirement gifts, High Five (for our values) awards, birthday gifts and employee appreciation events and days. Being an employee of TCCA means more than just having a job; when you work at TCCA, you are part of our family.

TCCA is committed to large-scale sustainability initiatives at the regional, national and global levels. Our values and Stewardship Commitments are aligned with and inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, The Dairy Sustainability Framework Global Criteria, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment and the National Milk Producers Federation FARM program.
U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 5

Goal 5

Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls

We are committed to a culture of inclusivity and diversity. We strive for a 50/50 gender balance.

Goal 8

Goal 8

Promote Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth, Employment, and Decent Work for All

We value our employees by encouraging safe conditions, stable employment, living wages, excellent benefits, and internal growth and development opportunities.

Goal 10

Goal 10

Reduce Inequality Within and Among Countries

TCCA is an equal opportunity employer and the largest employer in Tillamook County.

Our 2020 Stewardship Report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core option.

Commitments to stewardship

Other Ways we’re doing Dairy right