Talent Attraction, Development & Retention

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

Why Talent Attraction, Development, & Retention Matters

GRI 401: 103-1 | 103-2 | 103-3 | 401-1 | 401-3; GRI 404: 103-1 | 103-2 | 103-3 | 404-1 | 404-2 | 404-3;
Explanation of the material topic and its Boundary
Explain management approach components
Evaluate management approach
New employee hires and employee turnover
Parental leave
Average hours of training per year per employee
Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs
Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews
Greif’s success hinges on our capacity to attract, develop and retain top talent from around the world. Cultivating a diverse, engaged and talented workforce is fundamental to delivering best-in-class customer service and business success. Our talent management programs span the globe and range from recruitment to succession planning.



Performance Development Review Completion

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

Greif’s talent attraction, development and retention programs are administered by our Global Talent Center in line with our Global Talent Management Strategy and philosophy and are ultimately overseen by our Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer. The strategy and philosophy set our global standards for performance management, training and development activities, recruitment and career planning. Our Global Talent Center provides a consistent, centralized approach to talent management for each region to apply to their local needs and executes programs in collaboration with our HR Business Partners and regional representatives who implement programs in accordance with country-specific laws and regulations and serve as an extension of the talent management team. We have a dedicated team of 69 engagement champions – highly engaged colleagues who demonstrate strong leadership capabilities and work to support engagement in their teams and business units. The engagement champions have completed two formal training courses and participate in monthly sessions to better equip them to drive engagement globally.

In 2020, we began to implement additional talent modules of our Human Capital Management system, Workday, to build a more consistent talent attraction, development and retention system. This platform enables us to collect more detailed talent attraction metrics, provides additional insight to opportunities globally and allows us to communicate to colleagues and candidates that Greif is an employer of choice. We rolled out the Workday Recruiter module providing a unified applicant-tracking platform in the United States and Canada. Our applicant-tracking platform allows us to understand our candidate pool and to ensure we are attracting a diverse pool of applicants. In 2021, we continued to implement this module globally as well as expand our use of Workday. We also started to pilot Workday’s Value, Inclusion, Belonging, and Equity tool, VIBE. Through VIBE we will gather and track key diversity metrics throughout the talent lifecycle and benchmark our performance against other Workday clients. In 2022, we will expand our use of VIBE by integrating the data into our workforce scorecard.

Training and development are integral aspects of our development strategies. In 2021, we launched Greif University and offered more than 100 strategic learning topics such as the Greif Business System, compliance and leadership development. Through Greif University, we continued our Know and Grow with Greif program, a global offering of monthly instructor-led presentations. Greif University, in addition to our current LMS (Skillport), 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. Greif University enables us to better integrate compliance and code of conduct training and ease access to relevant and engaging learning for our colleagues. We currently offer 58 courses with 247 learning modules available on Greif University and 350 courses through Skillport. Since the implementation of Greif University, we have seen an increase in learning material utilization and higher training completion rates. In 2021, over 3,000 Greif colleagues accessed Greif University.

This year we offered three leadership trainings focused on inclusive leadership, safety leadership, and values-driven leadership, completed by 565 participants with an average of 8.6 hours spent on leadership training per participant. In 2022, we will continue to offer inclusive leadership and safety leadership trainings in conjunction with our new Leadership Development program. This year, we conducted internal stakeholder interviews and engagements to help develop the new leadership training, which will debut early next year.

Greif uses performance management as a platform to communicate colleague performance expectations, maintain ongoing performance dialogue, and conduct annual performance appraisals. We enable the assessment and development of our colleagues’ knowledge, attitudes, skills and behaviors through competency frameworks. All professional, clerical and administrative colleagues — approximately 19.7 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 2021, 87% percent of eligible colleagues completed Performance Development Reviews. As part of our global talent management processes, we encourage leaders to conduct quarterly check-ins and focus on Individual Development Plans (IDPs) to support opportunities for colleagues to learn and develop.

Our Talent Review process informs our succession planning, which is on a standard global cadence for director-level and above roles, ensuring we have an appropriate talent pipeline to enable our future success. Our succession planning process was developed to create more touch points with our colleagues, improve the diversity of our talent pipeline and identify development needs for high potential colleagues. The process is supported by an annual talent calibration session with our Executive Leadership Team and Board review of our succession plans. In 2021, we began automating our talent review and succession planning process through our Workday system across all global business units. This process allows us to assess our talent through 9 Box Reviews and capture succession beyond the director level, leading to a better understanding of our talent pipeline and the composition of our future workforce.

Greif completed the global roll out of its onboarding program for professional colleagues that features 30-, 60-, and 90-day touchpoints in 2020. The program includes a Manager Guide, New Hire Guides and leverages our Workday Onboarding module to streamline the onboarding process. In 2021, we translated the Manager Guide, New Hire Guides and related materials into six additional languages for global utilization.

We continued to grow our internship program in 2021. Since the program’s launch in 2018, we have hired 110 interns, including 13 in 2021. The eight- to twelve-week program includes development opportunities, networking opportunities and collaboration efforts. Internship opportunities are available in both our corporate and manufacturing facilities and focus on providing opportunities to participate in cross-functional projects and observe how we operate and make business decisions. As we continue to expand this program globally, we are working with local universities to identify talented candidates. We capitalized on learnings from the internship program to improve the onboarding processes for newly hired colleagues while many employees continue to work remotely. Please see our Careers page for current internship opportunities.

As Greif adopted new ways to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we focused on providing the appropriate training and development to ensure our colleagues had the necessary support and resources to work remotely and maintain business continuity. We leveraged the virtual work environment to connect colleagues globally through town halls, plant tours and other virtual events. With more virtual events and opportunities to interact across regions, we observed increased colleague engagement.

In 2021, we continued our company-wide internal colleague engagement survey using the Gallup Q12 survey. We conducted the survey in multiple languages for our global workforce and achieved a 91 percent response rate. With a continued increase in our engagement score, we reached the 90th percentile amongst Gallup’s global manufacturing database. As part of our reporting to executive leadership, we demonstrated the link between improvements in colleague engagement and greater performance across key business measures including safety, customer service, financial and human capital metrics. Based on local survey results, the Gallup platform provides managers with targeted learning resources to increase colleague engagement. These resources help inform and empower our local leaders as they construct action plans to drive colleague engagement. In 2021, local leaders submitted over 1,700 action plans.

In order to stay competitive and to show our commitment to our colleagues, we continually evaluate our benefits and associated policies. In 2021, we updated our benefits plan so that colleagues in North America have access to all their benefits immediately upon hire and increased minimum wage across the United States. We also updated our rehire and restoration policy as well as our relationships at work policy to remain competitive. We also aligned our policies so that legacy Caraustar is now operating under Greif policies. While eligibility for polices varies by regions and countries, Greif’s benefits include:

  • Fair remuneration
  • Flexible and remote work options
  • Health care
  • Overtime pay
  • Paid Leave including:
    • Berreavement
    • Domestic Violence Leave
    • Family and Medical Leave
    • Short-term Disability
    • Parental Leave
    • Jury Duty
    • Vacation
  • Voting Time Off

Goals & Progress

In 2017, Greif established three Talent Attraction, Development, and Retention Goals:
  • 100 percent of permanent colleagues 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 colleague by 50 percent by the end of fiscal year 2025.
  • 100 percent of colleagues 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. Roughly 87 percent of colleagues received performance reviews in 2020. To reach our 100 percent goal, we will continue to educate our eligible professional, clerical and administrative colleagues about the benefits and value of Greif’s performance reviews and requisite steps to complete the process. In 2022, we will evaluate our review process for our production colleagues and the possibility to include them in our goal.

Through continued growth and access to training and development resources, as well as the implementation of Greif University, we have far surpassed our training goal, reaching 5.38 hours of training per colleague. In 2022, we will begin to develop new goals and targets for 2030 to encourage employee training and development.

Overall, 68 percent of Greif colleagues are covered by a parental leave policy. We are focusing our efforts on North America to continue advancing towards our 2025 goal.


FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021





Asia Pacific








Latin America




North America





GRI 401: 103-1, 103-2, 103-3; 404: 103-1, 103-2, 103-3; 404-2
Explanation of the material topic and its Boundary

Explain management approach components

Evaluate management approach

Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs


FY 2017

FY 2018
FY 2019
FY 2020
FY 2021
New Colleague Hires






Colleague Attrition*






Training Hours per Colleague**

Skillport (Greif Learning Network)






Leadership, Professional, Production






Colleagues Completing Regular Performance Reviews^






*Attrition by region and length of service given as percent of attrition for fiscal year.
**Average hours of training per unique participant. Data excludes local functional training. For more information on safety training, please see Health & Safety.
^Includes eligible professional, clerical and administrative colleagues.
Highlight Stories

100 Most Loved Workplaces

Greif made Newsweek’s list of Most Loved Workplaces in 2021. The results are determined through surveying more than 800,000 employees on a variety of topics areas including employee feelings of inclusion, respect and alignment with personal values. The survey also gauges employee feelings of support in achieving results and a positive vision for continuous improvement as well as overall employee satisfaction. Greif is proud to have earned a spot on the list, and we will continue making Greif a great place to work.

Highlight Stories

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. In 2021, we supported 44 scholarships. Since 2007, 213 students from around the world have received Greif sponsored scholarships.

Highlight Stories

Greif University

In 2021, we launched Greif University, our training platform with over 100 different strategic learning offerings. Greif University serves as a unified place where all employees can go for development. We currently offer 58 courses and 247 learning modules in 14 different categories, including Customer Service Excellence, Environmental Health & Safety, and Leadership & Professional Development. Each module is available in English and Spanish to offer training to employees in their local language. Since launching Greif University there has been a significant increase in the use of development materials and higher training completion rates.




More Than 100 Strategic Learning Offerings

In 2021, we launched Greif University including strategic learning offerings on topics such as the Greif Business System, compliance and leadership development.


Performance Development Review Completion

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