Chobani Creates Positive Change for Its Dynamic and Diverse Workforce


Founded in 2005 when Hamdi Ulukaya brought together a small group of passionate individuals to make the real, wholesome yogurt he remembered from his childhood, Chobani now produces the top-selling Greek yogurt brand in the United States. The company’s yogurt, oat milk, dairy and plant-based creamers, ready-to-drink coffee, and plant-based probiotic drinks are made with natural ingredients and without artificial preservatives, keeping with its mission to make “good food for all.”

Chobani prides itself on being a values-driven, people-first food and wellness company. Employees describe it as “One Chobani – we work in different places and do different things, but we are one.” Its energetic work environment comprises diverse backgrounds and cultures, with tight-knit teams that feed off innovation and creativity.

This unity is reflected in Chobani’s efforts to reduce inequities in the workplace by offering programs that benefit the entire workforce, regardless of job title.

Chobani employee in PPE giving thumbs-up
Photo courtesy of Chobani

“Chobani is fundamentally about access to delicious, nutritious, natural, and affordable food,” said Grace Zuncic, chief people officer, Chobani. “But it also stands for access to a living wage, good benefits, and a workplace that lifts you up, makes you feel appreciated and welcome for who you are, and where you can really be yourself. Our values are simple: people, integrity, leadership, giving back, innovation, and craftsmanship.”

But merely expressing these values is not enough: Zuncic says it’s important how these words are enacted across the entire organization and how they make employees feel. The company strives to transform employees’ lives through the experience employees have from their first day.

Putting Its Values Into Practice

According to Zuncic, COVID-19 gave Chobani an opportunity to show its workforce how much it cares. While Chobani’s executive leadership team always led in service of essential workers – who comprise the majority of its workforce – during the pandemic, the company offered financial incentives for employees to get tested and vaccinated.

It was one of the first companies in the United States to offer paid leave for vaccination. It also opened up discussions about mental health among frontline employees and implemented new policies to help ensure employees at all levels have access to the right mental health support and resources.

In addition, Chobani introduced a US$100 daily subsidy to help cover the cost of childcare. This financial support helped the company keep production moving in the face of extremely high demand while supporting employees during a difficult and uncertain time.

Delivering an Exceptional People Experience

In order to help power its people and workforce strategies, Chobani relies on SAP SuccessFactors Human Experience Management (HXM) Suite to provide a robust experience across the entire employee life cycle, help upskill and reskill its people, and deliver the data and insights to further the company’s mission.

“SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite has helped us deepen engagement for both managers and employees and strengthen their understanding of our people strategy as well as the tools and resources we offer,” said Zuncic. “Eliminating barriers between management and employees enables meaningful conversations around goals, performance, learning, career development, and succession.”

Empowered by an integrated suite of SAP solutions, Chobani is even better equipped to continue to lead in making work better for all, elevate communities, and make the world a healthier place.

To learn more, watch “Forward with Baratunde Thurston” and Grace Zuncic.

Deb Lyons is senior director of Global Marketing for SAP SuccessFactors.
This also appeared on SAP BrandVoice on Forbes.
Top image courtesy of Chobani.