PLANO, TX — As labor shortages have impacted every industry, people in the workforce are seeking something better — and Middleby has proven that they can deliver.

The group was named to Forbes and Statista’s annual list of World’s Best Employers this week, a yearly survey that ranks the top 750 multinational companies and institutions to work for around the world. Middleby clenched the 652nd spot on the list, marking an important milestone in a year full of challenges. Mike Scouten, VP of sales for Stewart Systems, a Middleby Brand, said receiving the award felt like they were doing something right, and he had a few ideas about what got the group there.


Although Middleby is a global brand, it maintains an intimate and personal feeling among each of its teams. It’s something that Scouten said works well and allows employees to feel valued.

“It really means that this style of business, having small upper management teams and each brand be their own individual selves, is successful and working,” he said. “While we are a part of a large corporation, you still have a small company entrepreneurial feel.”

A big part of fostering that entrepreneurial culture is equipping employees with the tools to succeed. Middleby brands do this through comprehensive training programs, allowing employees to understand all the facets of their job and develop new skills — and new ideas — as they grow.

Training employees in a way that prompts them to excel is a big key to attracting new talent and retaining valuable employees. It creates a “promote from within” mentality that allows workers to move up as they outgrow positions.

“Something I have been more open to is being able to move people somewhere else within the organization when they’ve outgrown a position,” Scouten said. “I can reach out to someone else in a different department and see what they have open, and then give the employee an opportunity to grow while keeping talent within our company.”


As many groups face the challenges of workforce shortages, Scouten said its critical to positively set yourself apart. The competition to attract talented and passionate workers is fierce, and companies can’t have requirements that are too rigid as far as previous experience that could close off opportunities. Keeping an open mind might be the most important strategy as companies everywhere are scrambling to bring on new people.

“I have really revamped my hiring process for our parts department because in the past we’ve usually focused primarily on hiring people from manufacturing,” Scouten said. “But people from customer service positions bring so many different elements. One person that came to us used to be a store manager at Dunkin Donuts, and she had the customer service part down and was eager to work, so I said let’s do it because I wanted someone who was going to lift people’s spirits. It’s been a total shift.”


Moving forward, Middleby is prioritizing flexibility. Sometimes it’s better to modify the job for a good employee instead of letting them slip through the cracks if they aren’t a perfect fit. Above all, the group wants to evolve alongside their employees and shift to meet their needs, making both parties as successful as possible.

“We’re always adapting in how we interface with our people,” Scouten said.  “It’s about trying to find new ways to work with those who have different needs, and also looking for ways to change so it’s not the same that it’s always been.”