Employee Engagement & Satisfaction

One could argue that any business really exists for people - to create value for customers and provide jobs which enable and enrich communities. As any sustainability report will tell you, our people are our most critical asset. Our ability to execute on plans, deliver on promises, and build the organization we envision all relies on people.

YCH seeks to be the employer of choice in Yakima Valley. To do this, we strive to provide a gratifying work environment and compensate our employees fairly. Along with annually evaluating wages to ensure they are competitive with industry and regional norms, YCH has developed an extensive benefits package and employee recognition program to support the long-term development of our personnel.

Key Accomplishments

  • From April to July we provided approximately 3,600 hours of Lean manufacturing training to employees of all levels including a one-day course for all employees. The intensive trainings included multiple Kaizen events focused on specific projects that brought together executives, managers and front-line employees to develop collaborative solutions for continuous improvement.
  • We formed a cross-functional department managers team that meets regularly to execute the rapidly developing initiatives of YCH. This also opens routes of advancement and leadership for managers seeking greater engagement, and provides a forum for front-line employees to be represented by their department heads to senior management on a regular basis. Because it is cross-departmental and cross-site, it is also intended to help form one culture and reduce siloing.
  • We formed a company-wide leadership team to bring together leaders of the former companies in conjunction with executives to provide a forum for communication and strategic planning, and ensure the actions of our company align with our mission, vision and values.
  • A monthly on-boarding program has been developed and implemented to introduce new employees to how YCH works and help connect personnel throughout the organization.
Employee Recognition
  • YCH Bucks is an employee incentive program designed to promote healthy and safe lifestyles, enhance innovation and continuous improvement, and develop excellent employee relations.
  • Excellence Award cards are given to employees who exemplify YCH’s values. These cards are used to nominate employees for an Employee Excellence Award which is recognized monthly and includes one employee being named Employee of the Year.
  • The Square Watermelon Award is our highest honor for employee innovation and is awarded once per year to an employee, or group of employees, who is responsible for making an implementable suggestion that supports our mission, vision and values, and brings great value to the company. The award was originally developed at Yakima Chief and has been granted to employees who offered ideas leading to the development of a recycling program, improvement of separation efficiency, and increased dust control.

Equity On The Farm

As our scope and involvement with farms deepens and our campaign to connect farmers and brewers develops, we expect there will be a greater drive towards transparency regarding farm labor practices. As an organization, we believe sustainability of the industry can only be achieved by providing sustainable livelihoods to farm workers, including safe working conditions, upward mobility, and incomes comparable to wages outside of the farm. We are fortunate to procure hops from responsible farmers in the Pacific Northwest who respect their workers and the environment. We have not been involved in, or become aware of, any significant negative impacts in our supply chain from labor practices, compulsory or child labor, and/or other human rights violations.