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High Liner Foods Inc. - A Leader in Frozen Seafood Products and Employee Engagement

About High Liner Foods Inc.

High Liner Foods Inc. is a processor and marketer of value-added frozen seafood products, including the popular High Liner, Fisher Boy, Mirabel, Sea Cuisine, Royal Sea, FPI, and Viking brands. Originally founded in 1899 as a salt fish operation in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, the publicly-traded company has additional locations in Canada, as well as in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. With revenues of $585 million, this company has grown to employ 1,042 full-time employees worldwide. Other statistics include:

Employee turnover is 2.19 percent.

The longest serving employee has worked 50.9 years at the company.

Four hundred annual job applications were received most recently.

Twenty new jobs were created in Canada in the previous year.

A total of 43 percent of employees are women.

The average age of all employees is 50 years old.

The percentage of the workforce on a contract basis is 2.3 percent.

The percentage of the workforce who identify as minorities is 2.5%


When it comes to employee engagement, High Liner Foods (HLF) believes in staying on top of employee attitudes. They achieve this goal by administering their own in-house employee satisfaction survey every 6 months. Based on the results of one satisfaction survey collected in 2017, HLF learned that their employees wanted more information about the company and its business strategies. After speaking to outside consultants, the executive decision was made to first improve the communication system at the Lunenburg location, one of the most modern and diversified food processing plants in the world, covering over 250,000 square feet and housing 535 employees. The solution was to create and manage a High Liner TV station featuring company and community events, employee benefits information, job postings, corporate office messages, inventory levels, and annual production and sales figures.

The responsibility for operating and maintaining the in-house TV station rested with the Human Resources Department. With the help and cooperation of High Liner's Information Services department, broadcasting and other technical problems were kept to a minimum. Besides the HLF data that was requested by employees, added features to the station included streamed CBC News feeds for top regional, national, and world news stories. Current and forecasted weather as well as sports scores were also displayed on selected screens throughout the facility.

After a few months of operation, a follow-up survey revealed very positive feedback from HLF employees about the in-house TV station. Employees responded that they were better informed about the company, production processes, and company events, and they found the content entertaining as they relaxed in the company cafeteria. The company expanded the in-house TV station to include communicating new initiatives around employee wellness programs, such as quitting smoking and better nutrition. The in-house TV station allowed High Liner to distribute a greater variety of real-time information to their employees, which had a positive impact on the production process. Having received such positive results from the Luneburg plant, the High Liner TV station was expanded to other HLF facilities throughout Canada and the US.


The recent move from an in-house TV station to include a new corporate intranet site was natural for HLF. As computer use continues to increase around the HLF global facilities, the blending of the old technology with the new facilitated a positive work atmosphere by generating greater communication. When High Liner was recently nominated as one of Canada's top 100 employers, the strength of their employee engagement (surveys conducted twice per year), as well as their ability to fairly distribute company information to all employees (using the in-house TV station together with the intranet site), were mentioned as contributing factors to its success.

“Because the system is so easy to use, we are able to constantly change and update the information we distribute. This keeps it fresh and relevant for our employees,” says Natalie Shannon, HR Systems Specialist at HLF. “It is an excellent business tool and there are no limits to what we can do with it.”

You have been hired as the new HR manager at HLF, your task is to write a business case highlighting the importance of maintaining a high level of employee engagement in the organization for Senior management. Your goal is to obtain a higher budget for your team to continue to launch engagement initiatives. Once key initiative which you want to focus on in the next few years if to grow the organizations diversity and inclusion programs.

Using learned concepts from the course as well as doing research on OB theories and practices answer the following questions in your business case. Please submit your business case, in word, double spaced, maximum 9 pages. Your research must include 2 peer reviewed articles.

  1. Why would greater communication to all employees (about corporate operations and other company activities) have a positive impact on the production process? How does this improve the corporate bottom line?
  2. By responding so actively to the employee survey results, which of the five causes of job satisfaction would you say HLF helped fulfill and why? How does this help retention?
  3. What sort of organizational commitment must HLF employees have if they nominate their own company for an Employer of The Year award? What sort of attitude must they have toward their jobs? Their employer? Explain.
  4. Do you believe there is any correlation between the average age of all HLF employees and the amount of job involvement they seek from their employer and why? Explain.
  5. How can HLF increase its diversity and inclusion initiatives and what recommendations would you make?

Key considerations:

  1. INTRODUCTION: Start with an introduction (half a page to one page) that states the main purpose of your case, a summary of the case, what is happening and what is not working today?
  2. PEER REVIEWED ARTICLES: Your research should include two peer reviewed articles, which support your recommendations. The articles you select may be from a variety of sources: OB/HR-related research in journals, or business articles in magazines or newspapers (print or online). These articles must be scholarly & peer reviewed (use Durham College library sources and/or Peer reviewed articles are those that are read and evaluated by experts in the field before they are accepted for publication. Sources must be published within the last 10 years, be geographically relevant to the Canadian market and be credible (i.e. no ‘blogs’). Examples of credible sources include publications such as The Harvard Business Review, The Economist, and Forbes.

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