2018 Sustainability Report

arrow blueCommitted to using financial, natural and human resources wisely without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs

Talent Attraction, Development & Retention

Discovering and growing the workforce that will carry Greif into the future.

United Nations Sustainable Development GoalsGood health and well-beingQuality educationGender equalityindustry, innovation and infrastructureReduced inequalities

Why Talent Attraction, Development, & Retention Matters

Explanation of the material topic and its Boundary

Explain management approach components

Evaluate management approach

Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs

GRI 401: 103-1, 103-2, 103-3; 404: 103-1, 103-2, 103-3; 404-2

Greif’s success hinges on our capacity to attract, develop and retain the greatest talent from around the world. Our talent management programs span the globe and ranges from recruitment to succession planning.



LEAP Participants

Since 2014, 266 employees have participated in LEAP, our three-week leadership development program.

Our Talent Management Policy governs our talent attraction, development and retention strategies and provides the foundation for our Global Talent Management Strategy and philosophy. Together, our policy, strategy and philosophy set our global standards for performance management, training and development activities, recruitment and career planning. Our talent programs are overseen by our director of talent management with support by regional representatives who are responsible for implementing programs in accordance with country-specific laws and regulations. We are currently identifying additional regional champions within the business to serve as an extension of the team.

The Greif Way outlines our commitment to continuous improvement, which informs our commitment to employee development. Greif uses performance management as a platform to communicate employee performance expectations, maintain ongoing performance dialogue and conduct annual performance appraisals. We enable the assessment and development of our employee’s knowledge, attitudes, skills and behaviors through competency frameworks. All professional, clerical and administrative colleagues —approximately 20 percent of Greif’s workforce—participate in an annual Performance Development Review. The process consists of a self- and manager-evaluation of their performance against job-specific competencies. In 2018, 85 percent of eligible colleagues completed the program. In an effort to promote more consistent performance feedback throughout the year, we piloted a quarterly, as opposed to annual, review process in RIPS NA. Our Performance Development Review process informs our succession planning, which occurs for director-level and above roles, ensuring we have an appropriate talent pipeline to enable our success in the future.

Training and development are integral aspects of our development strategies. Our global Leadership Development and Training archive contains more than 220 courses dedicated to educating our colleagues on topics ranging from computer literacy to job-specific technical training. Any Greif employee with access to a computer can access the courses through the Greif Learning Network, Skillport. Our network tracks required training to ensure compliance with internal policies and relevant regulatory requirements. We supplement our global training with regional programs that address relevant needs and are actively improving our practices to integrate compliance and code of conduct training into the system and making it easier for our colleagues to navigate. In 2018, Greif experienced a 146 percent increase in the number of unique users leveraging our learning management system

We continue to build our onboarding program in North America. This includes 30- 60- and 90-day touchpoints, onboarding modules and new hire focus groups. To strengthen the overall program, we will create a manager onboarding guide, new hire onboarding guide and Workday hiring guide in 2019. We will also implement expanded training programs, including offering Champions, Customer Service Excellence and manager training sessions.

We continued to build our internship program in 2018 by hiring 19 additional interns and offering supplemental housing coverage for those hired. During the past two years, we hired 28 interns. In 2019, we will launch this program in EMEA and work with a university in Italy to hire interns.


Performance Development Review Completion

Eligible employee completed their annual Performance Development review, reviewing their competencies and planning against their competency frameworks.

In 2018, Greif introduced a company-wide internal employee engagement survey using the Gallup Q12 engagement survey. We conducted the survey in 16 languages and achieved a 91 percent response rate across all of our colleagues. The results identified employee recognition as a key area for improvement. As a result, over 800 action plans from over 500 teams were created to improve engagement with our employees. The plans focus on addressing local engagement needs based on direct input from our colleagues. In 2019, we will begin linking improvements in employee engagement to our key safety, customer service, financial and human capital metrics to better understand the impact of employee engagement on our business and drive continuous improvement.

Goals & Progress

In 2017, Greif established three Talent Attraction, Development, and Retention Goals:

  • 100 percent of permanent employees will participate in regular performance development discussions by the end of fiscal year 2025.
  • Using fiscal year 2017 baseline, increase average hours of annual training per employee by 50 percent by the end of fiscal year 2025.
  • 100 percent of employees will be covered by parental leave by the end of fiscal year 2025.

Greif’s continuous improvement in talent attraction, development and retention enabled us to make great progress on our 2025 goals this past year. As of 2018, almost all eligible colleagues receive some form of performance review. Our aim is to continue to increase colleague participation in a performance review process, formalize measurement and communicate progress annually. We implemented a Parental Leave policy in the United States which provides four weeks of paid parental leave for professional colleagues, including parents who adopt a child, and we will strive to continue to expand this program across the globe. Using feedback collected from the quarterly performance review process piloted in RIPS NA, we will make adjustments to the program and determine how it will be introduced in additional business units and regions.


New employee hires and employee turnover

Average hours of training per year per employee

Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews




Fy 2015 

Fy 2016

Fy 2017

Fy 2018
New Employee Hires





Employee Attrition*





Training Hours per employee**

Skillport (Greif Learning Network)





Leadership, Professional, Production





Employees Completing Regular Performance Reviews^



92 %


*Attrition by region and length of service given as percent of attrition for fiscal year.
**Average hours of training per unique participant. Data excludes safety training and local functional training. FY2017 data has been restated from the 2018 Sustainability Report to exclude this data. For more information on safety training, please see Health & Safety.                                                  
^Includes eligible professional, clerical and administrative employees. FY2016 data has been restated to reflect completion, not participation.
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Greif Scholarship Program

In 2007, Greif established a scholarship program to assist our colleagues’ children who plan to continue education in college or vocational school programs.  Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of financial need, academic record, demonstrated leadership, participation in school and community activities, honors, statement of educational aspirations and goals, unusual personal and family circumstances and an outside appraisal.

The program is administered by Scholarship Management Services, a division of Scholarship America. Scholarship Management Services is the nation's largest designer and manager of scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs for corporations, foundations, associations and individuals. Awards are granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability or national origin. Selection of recipients is made by Scholarship Management Services. In no circumstance does any officer or colleague of Greif play a part in the selection. Since 2007, 119 students from around the world have received scholarships.