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Management Case Study: Whole Foods

Essay by   •  March 1, 2016  •  Case Study  •  836 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,072 Views

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Alexis Laurin

2/7/2016

Management

Whole Foods

        The Whole Foods Market has found the key to running a successful, nationwide company, with happy customers and even happier employees. Whole Foods holds over three hundred retail stores and sixty-eight thousand employees. The main concern of Whole Foods is “achieving unity of vision about the future of our company and building trust between Team Members”(). The small teams at whole foods are made up of employees, divided into sections, such as, produce, grocery, prepared foods, seafood, bakery, floral and wine.

        The individual teams have clearly defined goals that are met as a team. For any potential new employees, they are put on a four week trial period. At the end of the four weeks, the team evaluates the new employee of that department, and they vote to keep the team member or vote them off the team completely. This technique works because there is no room for slacking team members. The veteran employees have the four week opportunity to evaluate the new employee and decide if they want to keep them around to improve their team. This is an excellent way to make the teams feel like they have some power in decisions for the company and it is a way to create more unified teams because they decide if they want the new team member, not the upper manager that knows nothing about the person’s day-to-day work ethic. The small teams also run themselves. There is a group leader that plans group meetings and makes sure that the goals are met. The members and team leader reward and commend each other, everything is about accomplishing team goals, together. Co-CEO, Walter Robb, stated “If we are taking care of one another, the customers are going to feel that”. This type of management was described by Mary Parker Follet. She believed that employees thrive when they work in groups that feel like communities, when managers and employees work in harmony together and the employees feel like they have a say in what happens within the company. All three of these values are implemented in the Whole Foods Market and are proven to work.

        The Whole Foods Market also obtains their employees from within the company. Once a person is on the team, they can move up throughout the company, once they are qualified for the position that they want. Whole Foods coined this as “promoting from within”. The team members that are highly skilled and do not need much supervision, which means it is a seamless process to move up in the company because they are already trained. Moving employees from the bottom to the top would create an atmosphere of motivation and commitment. With the opportunities to move up in the company, the employees would feel like their work will get them somewhere and that they are working for a company that truly believes in them. Whole Foods is implementing the hierarchy of human needs when they are promoting from within their own company. Their employees feel their needs of self-actualization, esteem, social needs, safety and physiological needs being filled. They enjoy coming to work because their place of work makes them feel confident, wanted and safe within their job. It seems that Whole Foods believes in Theory Y managing. They believe in their employees one-hundred percent that they are capable of self-control, self-direction, responsibility and creativeness.

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