Whole Foods Market Human Resources Perspective


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  • I have been trying for over two years to get a Job at Whole foods in San Jose,ca. I am a 59 years old Air Force veteran with 24 years in the Pest control industry and have held licenses in Fla.Oklahoma and california for many years- over twenty in Calif. I am not a felon or a drug addict.I am a cuban american elderly gentleman and I had put in for the Produce department and I keep getting blow off by these people for who?For the youth and the students who put in for jobs. I thought that in this country veterans would or are supposed to be prefferred but apparently not. I have 24 years experience of watching the produce section of many stores work and I still posses a california applicators license from terminex in 2011. So what does once have to do to get a job at Whole foods- put on line again and again and again? That gets tiring troops and yet I go to the Blossom hill store and all; I mostly see is the youth. Not even people in their 30's I'm talking kids. Now how does this economy make ends meet when you have 50 kids working part time and going to school and the managers are the only ones working full time? You don't offer full time jobs?They do in Miami because I called. yes I did and i spoke to the Miami regional lady I she told me to call her when I get to Miami. I will and I will get a job in Miami but not here in Calif.Why? because here is where everyone wants to see the youthful smiling faces like we like here in california. right? Somehow Miami does not think like Californai and that lady I spoke to last years was'nt happy with this ideology I expressed with so many youth taking Jobs from the older and elderly people because all they do here in part time in an economy that is basically struggling because people either can't qualify for Jobs because the assesment tests are set up for people who think a certain type of way-as opposed to someone who has 24 years of customer service in a highly flammable business such as Pest control? You tell me. I can put in another application again but to what extent? You never know when they are looking for someone here in San Jose and I really wanted a shot in that Producde department and I went there five times and talked to the managers and they were interested- I just got blown off because Human resources only sees fifty-plus years old and pest control experiece and they did'nt even know what that was? I asked and called Human resources in the San Jose areas when I did'nt get hired and the dumb girl said she did'nt know what this was or that was and she did'nt know what USAF meant?USAF???????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it says;Militarty experience and some 12 year old in Human resources does not know what USAF means? Go fish.
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Whole Foods Market Human Resources Perspective

  1. 1. Whole Foods Market A Human Resources Perspective12/10/2012 Lisa Collins Capella University Student 1
  2. 2. Table of Contents3 Introduction to Whole Foods Market 15 References4 Recruiting 16 References5 Training and Development6 Selection7 Performance Management8 Performance Management Methods9 Benefits10 Employee Discipline and Conflict11 Labor Relations12 Employee Litigation13 Summary14 Recommendations12/14/2012 Lisa Collins Capella University Student 2
  3. 3. Whole Foods Market Whole Foods Market is the largest natural foods store in America. It has an accelerated customer base as a growing population of consumers are gravitating toward healthy, chemical-free, and organic diet choices. Whole Foods Market was founded in Austin, Texas, when four local businesspeople, who owned two different small stores that offered organic, and natural food products, decided the natural foods industry was ready for a supermarket. They began with 19 employees and one store; today there are over 350 retail and non-retail locations, as well as over 54,000 employees, and the company advertises its plan to open new stores. Part of the company’s continued and outstanding success is attributed to its mission statement and core values relating to its employees. A substantial part of the company’s culture and mission statements translate its desire to contribute to the happiness and welfare of its employees. In fact, the company has a career section in its web-site that boasts its fifteenth year in FORTUNE® magazines top 100 places to work. Further, the company offers excellent benefits, open-door policies, team autonomy, diversity, and career path training as part of its human resources management strategy. Whole Foods Market publicly attributes its success to its team members and the cutting edge strategies used in recruiting and developing new talent; it is a progressive and attractive company to work for. Their “Declaration of Interdependence” promises openness and democratic management with mutual respect. (Anonymous, Whole Foods Market, 2012).12/14/2012 Lisa Collins Capella University Student 3
  4. 4. Recruiting • iCIMS software to track and centralize candidates’ applications locally and nationally as well as sort by skill level. • Detailed job descriptions are posted in job fairs, career centers, store kiosks, web-site recruiting sites, and company web-site announcements. Further, internal recruiters aggressively recruit from colleges, as shown on a job announcement for a recruiter on a Simply Hired job posting (Simply Hired, 2012). • HR managers are in positioned in each location. This provides a store with the ability to hire according to local cultural needs as well as expedite the hiring process. Regional HR Managers are staffed for additional support. • Lastly, the company has links on its career site to social media accounts, which enable quick processing, in addition to their short web-site applications,12/14/2012 Lisa Collins Capella University Student 4
  5. 5. Training and Development Workforce planning through training is the framework Whole Foods Market relies on for making staff and staff resource decisions that are linked to its mission, strategic plan, and unique customer base. A video clip is attached to Whole Food Market’s training and development site that refers to team training, succession planning, and employee empowerment that makes the viewer feel the company is interested in its employees because it expects them to make mistakes, and encourages them to train for better outcomes. Further, the company demonstrates its commitment to training by investing in a sizable training staff. Each region has its own regional trainer who is responsible for overseeing the orientation and training of all new and existing team members. Additionally, many of their stores have educators or trainers on site. Moreover, many of their teams have an assigned team trainer. Additionally, Whole Foods Market is listed as a client of Adventure Associates, a company that provides team building, conflict resolution, and leadership skills training (Anonymous, 2012). Lastly, the company has its own “university” that enables employees to log-on in order to train for immediate improvement or for future elevated areas of responsibility.  MentorsQuick Facts  Test Evaluations and Yearly Surveys  Peer Cross Training  Vast Virtual Library  ROI and Effectiveness shown in Sales Results 12/14/2012 Lisa Collins Capella University Student 5
  6. 6. Selection Selection is Modern, Inventive, and Designed for Successful Selection • Applicants are screened by local HR or store leadership personnel for skills/needs match. • Referred to appropriate department leadership who may grant interview. • Formal interviews are granted in peer-review panels for leadership positions: Team member participation in group interviews are considered employee empowerment philosophies put into action. Diversity in the group brings different aspects of the roles and responsibilities of the position to the interview process. Whole Foods Market offers the right to vote to local teams when it comes to hiring. New hires serve for a period of one to three months on a team, after which the team approves (or rejects) the candidate as a permanent team member by two-thirds vote (Whole Foods, 2012)12/14/2012 Lisa Collins Capella University Student 6
  7. 7. Performance Management Gainshairing Philosophy Pay Program Whole Foods Market believes that employees who share in - Pay for Experience and Performance the organization’s success will perform with optimum engagement. - Beginning pay based upon related experience. “We strive to create a company-wide consciousness of - Gainshairing, which averaged an extra .60 per “shared fate” by uniting the interests of team members as hour last year for Team Members. closely as possible with those of our shareholders…When teams come in under budget due either to higher sales or - Team Members are eligible for a Performance lower labor costs, a portion of the surplus is divided among Review at 30-45 days, at 6 months of service, the team members and paid out every four weeks, and a and annually thereafter. portion is set aside in a savings pool” (Whole Foods, SEC Report 2012). - WFM targeted average annual pay increase has been averaging 5% for the past several years (1% higher than the national average). - Wage structures and "Caps" are reviewed annually (WFM, 2012), $15.00 an hour plus stock options forQuick Facts the average unskilled team member-far above average. 12/14/2012 Lisa Collins Capella University Student 7
  8. 8. Performance Management Methods 360 Degree Review Process Whole Foods Market utilizes software as part of its performance management system. According to Michelle Hirschof Whole Foods Market “ ProfileXT® and CheckPoint 360°™ are the products we like to use for leadershipdevelopment. These tools give participants insight into their own skills (Hirsh, M.?).The organization has a clear formal feedback system in that it utilizes self-assessment, peer review, and scoringsoftware to give the human resources manager a clear picture of the employee’s performance.The employee is evaluated by raters set to compare the employee’s behaviors and performances to writtenorganizational standards, as well as peer and self-assessment methods. Peer Evaluation Openly Conducted HRIM software & Store measuremen Leader t raters Self- HR Manager assessment12/14/2012 Lisa Collins Capella University Student 8
  9. 9. Benefits Remuneration is Comprehensive and Desirable • Stock Options, Gainshairing, and Stock Purchase Plan • Paid health Insurance • Personal Wellness Account, Dental Plan , Vision Service Plan • • Retirement • 401K • Life Insurance • Both short-term and long-term disability offered. • Dependent Care Reimbursement Account (DCRA) • 20% store discount • Paid Time Off These are only the highlights!12/14/2012 Lisa Collins Capella University Student 9
  10. 10. Employee Discipline and Conflict Whole Foods Market Uses Exhaustive Measures to Deter Termination • Immediate feedback is given when problem is noticed • Verbal warnings • Additional training may be offered • Peer-Review Disciplinary Panels with Store Manager/HR • Written Action Plans with Follow-up Procedures • Self-Assessment (Whole Foods, 2012) & (United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division, 2012).Quick Facts No EAP Program is Advertised and Arbitration is Not Acceptable ( MacGillis, A., 2009). 12/14/2012 Lisa Collins Capella University Student 10
  11. 11. Labor Relations Serious Labor Relations Concerns Whole Foods Market’s CEO is an activist for legislation that weakens unions. Many blog postings by employees have accused him of conducting anti-union meetings disguised as training meetings. As the CEO was investigated by the SEC for posting positive commentaries about his company, and negative commentaries about competitors under a false name, credence should be given to some of the allegations (Johnson, C. 2007). While the organization’s mission and culture statements tout its benevolent and visionary labor practices, its CEO has aggressively fought unions that would ensure those practices. Many articles that are critical of the organization’s loose regard for employment law are linked together in a web-site by Michael Jay that concern covert meetings to block unions, anti-union training, violations of labor laws, and violations of privacy and retaliation laws (Jay, M. 2009). The web-site location is http://michaelbluejay.com/misc/wholefoods-articles.html, and has articles from many sources, including Forbes Global Internet magazine, that have documented said claims “Whole Foods’ avowedly libertarian CEO, John Mackey, has compared the prospect of having unions at hisstores to “having herpes.” An internal Whole Foods document listing “six strategic goals for Whole Foods Market to achieveby 2013,” obtained by Mother Jones, includes a goal to remain ’100% union-free’” (Harkinson, J. 2009). The article quotedinformation about the only union that organized; it subsequently dissolved “ Once employees approved the union in 2002and began negotiating a contract with Whole Foods’ lawyer, they asked the company to award raises more equitably,establish a grievance procedure, and protect them from arbitrary firing. The lawyer rejected the proposals but never put forthalternatives, while scheduling and rescheduling meetings that were spaced out every other month for more than ayear”(Harkinson, J. 2009). 12/14/2012 Lisa Collins Capella University Student 11
  12. 12. Employee Litigation Whole Foods Market has recently had employee related litigation filed against them that reveal the ineffectiveness of the decentralized and peer-inclusive management of employees. • Glenn Mack VS Whole Foods Market: Allegedly fired for being a Muslim (NG, C. 2011). • OSHA vs. Whole Foods Market: Allegedly, an employee was fired for reporting sewer leakage near food to upper management- whistleblower violation (DAquino, M. & Wald, M, 2011). • Iceberg vs. Whole Foods Market Group, Inc.: Alleged sexual harassment and retaliation. This case provides a clear image of the decentralized “reality-show” method of managing people. The person openly accused of sexual harassment was allowed to remain on the plaintiff’s performance review and disciplinary panel boards as his peer and team leader. The HR manager contributed to the problem by privately making remarks to the plaintiff that “she would not let her get him” while doing nothing to mitigate the problem. The docket leads one to believe that in spite of the local and regional HR managers’ presence, cliques and teams opinions are valued more than systematic measure that requires accountability for adherence to labor laws and privacy concerns (United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division, 2012). World-Class Proskauer law firm states its role in WholeQuick Facts Foods Market’s strategy on day-to-day labor and employment matters, including strategic advice on human resource issues and drafting policies and handbooks” (Unknown, ?). 12/14/2012 Lisa Collins Capella University Student 12
  13. 13. Summary Whole Foods Market began with an innovative and creative model of employee management thatencompassed that model into its organizational strategy with robust success. It is currently used as a benchmark for HRstrategy by the academic and business world. However, the CEO’s behaviors and actions that affect the organization’slabor force are divergent from its mission statement and culture. Further, his actions expose the organization to millionsof dollars in employee litigation costs, as well as potential citations and fines from government entities. Additionally, suchactions are in contrast to the desires and motivations of the organization’s customers which may reduce the uniquecustomer base. Indeed, the total compensation package, exemplary training programs, performance reviews, progressivedisciplinary actions, the expectation of happy lives, and shared-fate philosophy are desirable to talent available in humancapital pools. Failure to maintain the organization’s success without difficulty after the baby boomers retire would not be aproblem for Whole Foods Market as such environments and remunerations are sought after and generate loyalty. However, the organization has begun increasing its part-time employee labor force while decreasing its full-time employee labor force. Health insurance policies have become less effective and affordable, and trust hasdiminished. It does appear that the business model that created Whole Foods Market’s success is not the model of itsfuture. While 360 degree performance management is the new nova of business models, it has serious problems:labor related laws, privacy issues, and ethical employee management are degraded. Lastly, this study provides evidencethat sound human resources policies, and skilled human resources managers are not a necessary human capitalmanagement expense; rather, they are integral parts of successful organizational strategies. 12/14/2012 Lisa Collins Capella University Student 13
  14. 14. Recommendations • The board of directors should seriously consider the removal of John Mackey as its CEO. • The peer-reviews should be conducted in an open forum with recommendation authorities only. No decisions should be made outside equal and standardized procedures that are contained to the HR manager and approved management teams. While the motivation of personal gain has been a proven successful method of obtaining employee engagement and peer-review decisions, it is not measurable as biases, cliques, and prejudices emerge. • Human Resources Managers must be held accountable for actions that are taken in their stores that violate the letter and spirit of labor laws. • Whole Foods Market should adhere to its stated culture, mission, and organizational statements in order to maintain the growth and stability it has achieved by their implementation. Benefits and knowledgeable full-time employees must be maintained in order to retain and attract needed talent.12/14/2012 Lisa Collins Capella University Student 14
  15. 15. References Anonymous, iCIMS, (?)SUCCESS STORY - WHOLE FOODS MARKET Retrieved from Google 10/27/12 http://www.icims.com/content/clients/casestudy_wfm.aspieved Anonymous, (2012). Conflict Resolution page on Adventure Associates’ web-site. Retrieved from Yahoo, 11/17/12 at http://www.adventureassoc.com/workshops/conflict-resolution.html Anonymous, (2012) Simply Hired, Regional Recruiter https://jobs2-wholefoods.icims.com/jobs/103112/regional- recruiter/job?mode=job&iis=SimplyHired&iisn=SimplyHired&sh_aa=1&utm_source=simplyhired&utm_medium =jobclick DAquino, M. & Wald, M,( 2011). OSHA Regional News Release, Region 4 News Release: 11-1562-ATL (569), US Department of Labor Office of Public Affairs, Retrieved 11/4/2012 from Google at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=21465 Harkinson, J. (2009). Are Starbucks and Whole Foods Union Busters? Mother Jones-web-site. Retrieved 12/5/2012 at Google http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2009/04/are-starbucks-and-whole-foods-union- busting?page=2 Hirsh, Michelle, (?). AssessmentCompany.com, reference statement Retrieved from Google 11/09/2012 at Markethttp://www.assessmentcompany.com/products/checkpoint360.html12/14/2012 Lisa Collins Capella University Student 15
  16. 16. References Continued Johnson, Carrie,(2007). SEC Interested in Web Musings of Whole Foods CEO, The Washington Post, Retrieved from Google 11/09/2012 at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp- dyn/content/article/2007/07/13/AR2007071301975.html NG, Christina, (2011). Muslim Ex-Whole Foods Employee Sues Company for Discrimination. ABC World News web- site retrieved from Google 11/29/2012 at http://abcnews.go.com/US/muslim-foods-employee-sues- company- discrimination/story?id=14905251 United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division, (2012) Iceberg vs. Whole Foods Market Group, Inc. retrieved from Google 11/16/12 at http://www.leagle.com/xmlresult.aspx?page=4&xmldoc=In FDCO 20121105494.xml&docbase=CsLwAr3-2007-Curr&SizeDisp=7 Unknown, (2009). Proskauer Law Firm web-site. Retrieved at Google 12/5/2012 at http://www.proskauer.com/practices/labor-and-employment/ Whole Foods Board of Directors (2012). Form K-10 United Sates Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved from Google 12/2/12 at http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/865436/000110465911065946/a11-28314_110k.htm Whole Foods Market, (2012) Hiring Process, Retrieved from Google 10/26/2012 from http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/careers/hiring-process12/14/2012 Lisa Collins Capella University Student 16