EW Grobbel is a family food company whose lineage spans five generations. While we are known as the oldest corned beef specialist in the country, our foundation is centered on growing and developing every employee, personally and professionally, while producing premium quality food products.
Empowering Our Workers
Many companies say they are employee focused, but EW Grobbel has over 137 years of history to prove it. We know this is not a short-term commitment and are unwavering in our dedication. In order to grow and empower our work force, EW Grobbel has implemented the following programs:
Pay it forward: In 2014, we realized that the old model of management, with a supervisor overseeing both the technical aspects of production and interpersonal employee relations, was not working. So, we created a group of supervisors dedicated to developing the staff personally and professionally, with no ties to production goals.
Employee Certification Program: We like to say that we develop experts at EW Grobbel. We do this through on the job training, opportunities, and certifications. Not only does this allow for internal advancement but it also develops lifelong skill sets that will aid employees in all future endeavors.
The ACE Pledge: We grow our employees through the ACE Pledge, focusing on Attitude, Competency, and Energy. In this program, we evaluate employees on a weekly basis, instead of waiting for annual reviews. This allows us to monitor the growth of our staff and focus on not what they are doing wrong but how they can be successful.
Accessible Counseling: Beyond our onsite, Personnel Supervisors, we offer employees access to low cost counseling services. These services are confidential and can be accessed in-person or remotely.
Higher Wage: At EW Grobbel, we start our employees off at a wage that is over 20% above the average starting pay for other jobs in Detroit.
Our products are produced at large scale and across a massive supply chain. As such, we are committed to doing all we can to lessen the environmental impact. This includes programs and measures such as the following:
Cardboard Recycling: With millions of pounds of meat being processed in our plant every year, our staff collects and bundles all recyclable packaging and boxes. This results in truckloads of product, that would otherwise end up in a landfill, being regularly recycled.
Continuous Flow Process: Food and meat production is a water heavy process. Our Continuous Flow Process helps to reduce the water usage and impact by 30%.
Bulk Sourcing: Our commitment to ordering everything from proteins to salt in large scale reduces the carbon footprint of our supply chain.
Our community has been responsible for EW Grobbel’s success through the generations. We acknowledge our gratitude for this privilege by working with organizations like Forgotten Harvest Food Bank and the Detroit Children’s Center. In the peak of the COVID19 pandemic, we donated 40,000 pounds of corned beef to Forgotten Harvest to feed those in need.
“In tough times, those with the least tend to get hurt the most,” said EW Grobbel president Jason Grobbel of the donation. “That’s why we want to do what we can, as a business that has been in this community for nearly 150 years, to help fill the need for hungry neighbors in Metro Detroit.”
Response to COVID-19
EW Grobbel is proud to have served our customers, our community, and our employees for more than 135 years. In that time, we have faced a variety of challenges together – from World Wars to economic down turns to natural disasters. During all these times, we have remained committed to ensuring that we do what is best for our employees and those that we serve.
Today, we face a new challenge with the uncertainty of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). We recognize that this very real health emergency is having a tremendous impact on our citizens and our economy. During this time, we are committed to providing a stable food source for our community and customers.
We will continue to assess and respond to the crisis as it evolves, to adjust our operations to maintain continuity, and to support the safety and health of those impacted. In addition, we are operating in accordance with guidance from the CDC and local government. To ensure the health and well-being of our employees and community, we are taking additional precautions beyond our normal food safety procedures, which are also effective in virus-mitigation. Some additional measures that we have taken during this time:
- Providing all employees with face covering
- Temperature checking employees prior to every shift
- Screening employees for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to every shift. Any employee displaying symptoms is quarantined for a minimum of 10 days.
- Quarantining any employee that has been in close contact with COVID-19 for 14 days and ensuring symptom-free before returning.
- Increasing cleaning of frequent touch points in our facility
- Encouraging frequent and effective handwashing
- Training employees to practice safe distance and providing visual cues
Changing our attendance policy to ensure sick employees stay home
- Limiting visitors to only those essential to business operations
- Providing some optional at-home work options to employees
- Modifying our production lines to increase work-cell isolation
- Staggering start times and break times to reduce employee interactions
- Providing hazard pay for employees
We will continue to support our employees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we choose to view this time as an opportunity to get better not just for the present but for years to come. We are re-thinking and re-shaping our internal communications and meetings to be more effective, even though we are socially distanced. Our training programs have had a face lift and are transitioning to custom videos and new platforms that are more sustainable. The virus mitigation strategies we have implemented increase our GMP’s and will be effective during future flu seasons. Amid this global crisis, we choose to focus on what is positive and will continue to address this challenge as an opportunity to improve.