Whistle While You Work and Have Fun
Who do you want to work for if you’re in the retailing or consumer products manufacturing businesses? Based on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for in 2007 list, you’d want to work for (in order of ranking): Wegmans, Container Store, Whole Foods, S.C. Johnson, Nugget Markets, Starbucks, QuikTrip, Valero Energy, Nordstrom, J.M. Smucker, Stew Leonard’s, Publix, Procter & Gamble, Nike, Timberland, CDW, CarMax, Men’s Wearhouse, IKEA North America.
What exactly makes these companies better employers than, say, any other business not on the list?
Take Nugget Market in Woodland, Cal., as an example. According to Fortune, the supermarket business “keeps full-time turnover down to 8.2 percent (unheard-of in the grocery business) with rah-rah spirit, good pay and benefits, plus a rockin’ end-of-year bash.”
The company, which operates seven Nugget Markets and three Food 4 Less stores, has 1,099 employees. Eligible part-timers and full-timers have access to 100 percent company-paid health coverage, including dental, vision and prescriptions. For those employees who manage to stay out of the doctor’s office, unused sick pay is paid out to employees at the end of the year.
The average pay for full-time cashiers is $33,722 a year and store directors earn $98,833.
Other reasons for working at Nugget can be found on the company’s web site. Here’s how the company describes its culture.
“In this company, your positive attitude will allow you to accomplish anything you want; there are no ceilings. By supporting each other and coaching each other into excellence, we create a dynamic environment where all associates are encouraged to excel. We are never satisfied with the status quo and believe there is always a better way of doing things. Though we love to celebrate our successes and will find any excuse to throw a party, we continually push ourselves to the edge…. Your individual gifts are a part of who you are, and we do not want to change that; on the contrary, our goal is to help you become a better ‘you’ and to find a position where you are both in ‘the right fit’ and challenged to grow. In turn, you can help make this a better company!”
Discussion Questions: What “makes it so great” to work at the retail and consumer products manufacturing companies on Fortune’s list? Do you believe there is a direct correlation between strong financial results and the pleasure employees have in working for a company? Are there any companies on the list that you have insights into?
Nugget Market’s philosophy in short: Respect, appreciate and value everyone (RAVE).