Everyone knows high performing organizations have strong cultures. At Tyson Foods, we believe culture matters. Part of our culture that we live every day are our 5Cs: CARING, CANDOR, CREATIVITY, COLLABORATION, COMMITMENT.

COVID-19 is changing the way we work, but it isn’t changing our culture. These three examples show how Tyson team members are keeping COLLABORATION, CREATIVITY and CARING at the forefront, virtually.

Collaborating with Team Members

Members of our Research & Development teams are working from home. That means, they’re doing product “cuttings” or reviews in-home rather than in corporate kitchens. Some cuttings are for new product innovations while others are for product quality improvements. A new in-home protocol provides instructions on product preparation and a feedback template to record product appearance, crispiness and flavor. Plus, photos are encouraged during the in-home cutting to accompany the feedback. This protocol maintains consistency for in-home environments.

The teams evaluate the products individually in their home kitchens, then come together in a virtual meeting to discuss their notes in more detail. Depending on the stage of the project, teams may include individuals from Marketing, Sensory, R&D, Food Science, Culinary, Consumer Insights and others.

“The virtual cutting protocol has improved our product evaluations in very positive ways we did not expect,” says Russell Thomas, a Director of R&D for Tyson Foods. “The team has been able to be more involved; they provide more thorough feedback and they are getting a better understanding of how consumers interact with the products at home, which helps to develop more relevant products going forward.”

Getting Creative with Customers

In the COVID-19 environment, customers have maintained a focus on innovation to meet customer needs and adjust to the emerging trends created by the pandemic.  Due to social distancing measures, we have had to get creative in our approach to bringing new innovations to customers. Our Sales and Business Development teams have been conducting virtual sell-in meetings with live cooking demos. 

We recently presented several items to a customer virtually. While in different cities, the team was able to present two new nugget items and a sandwich concept while preparing and sampling with the customer in real time. This was extremely well received and provided live feedback and direction. We plan on adapting the same methodology for several events in the future. 

“The Business Development team has a passion for the projects we develop for our customers,” said John Conroy, a Director of Sales for Tyson Foods. “We put a high value on collaborative engagement with each customer by listening to their input and adjusting to their needs. Especially in this new environment, we are getting creative to find new ways of connecting with our customers.”

Showing Care in New Ways

Tyson employs about 100 chaplains. Most are based in our food processing plants, but with everyone wearing face coverings it’s harder to communicate using facial expressions and talking over the hum of the production floor. Virtual outreach through calls, texts and videos have helped provided additional support during stressful times.

“Ministry may have changed in how it’s delivered,” says Karen Diefendorf, Director of Chaplain Services for Tyson Foods, “but the recipients and content of ministry are the same as before.”

It’s not just the stress of working conditions that can affect team members. The stay-at-home orders that followed the initial outbreak of COVID-19 have led to additional stresses at home in marriages and families. Our chaplains have been able to use video conference to offer counseling services to team members.

While Tyson team members and chaplains welcome the face-to-face interaction their jobs provide, they have been able to adapt to new requirements and conditions to demonstrate COLLABORATION, CREATIVITY and CARING more than ever.

Our 5 Cs

We are a CARING team that puts the customer first. We listen, assume positive intent, then speak with CANDOR. We embrace CREATIVITY to get better every day. We are inclusive, and through intentional COLLABORATION, we win.

We make a COMMITMENT daily, to deliver results the right way.

Communications Manager, Poultry Public Relations at

Morgan Watchous (pronounced “watch us”) is part of Tyson Foods’ Corporate Communications team, serving as the communications manager of poultry public relations.

Morgan has a mix of content, marketing, sales and PR experience in agriculture. She has done public relations and account management for Zoetis equine and dairy pharmaceuticals with the integrated marketing agency Bader Rutter, she managed a sales territory for Zoetis equine pharmaceuticals and most recently served as the content marketing manager for Farm Journal Media across the livestock, crops and produce industries.

Morgan grew up in Northern California riding horses and working cows. She earned a degree in Agricultural Journalism from the University of Missouri and serves on the board of the MoKan National Agri-Marketing Association and is active in the Junior League of Northwest Arkansas. She and her husband Zach enjoy volunteering and exploring the great outdoors.