Fortune's Best Companies #3: Wegmans
It's no surprise to me that Wegmans is at the top of the best places to work list. Five years ago I got a part-time job in the pharmacy of our local Wegmans Food Market. At the time I figured I would be there until something better came along, but I soon realized that the flexibility that Wegmans offered would be next to impossible to find at any other company. Being a working mom, there are times when I have to miss a shift because one of my children is sick. This has never been an issue and I've never felt like I have to choose between my child and my job. Usually, they will work with me and let me work at night to make up for the missed day shift.
A couple of months ago, I had some minor surgery. When we got home from the hospital there was a Wegmans reusable shopping bag filled with a cooked chicken, vegetables and a cookie cake. Everyone in my department had chipped in and then made sure it was at my house, so I wouldn't have to worry about dinner for my family. It's the little things that really make a difference.
On a daily basis, we're empowered to make decisions that will be in the customers' best interest. For example, I don't need to ask my supervisor for permission to waive a customer's co-pay if I feel the situation warrants it. They trust us to use our own judgment, which, in turn, makes us feel valued.
How many grocery stores offer health insurance to their part-time employees? Wegmans does. The employee co-pay cost is very reasonable and it's a great insurance policy. They also award thousands of dollars in college scholarships every year to their employees.
I do feel like I am valued as a person and that my ideas are met with encouragement. We are never made to feel like we aren't important to the company, no matter what position we might have. I'm sure there are some managers that aren't as good as others, but so far I haven't met any. Just as I'm sure there are Wegmans employees that aren't always happy. But I still believe that a lot of other companies would benefit by following Wegmans' lead with both their customers and their employees.
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