What's the company culture at Whole Foods Market?

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Every business has it's own style. What is the office environment and culture like at Whole Foods Market?

Are people dressed in business casual, jeans and t-shirts, or full-on suits? Do folks get together for Friday happy hours and friendly get-togethers?

What is a typical day in the life of an employee at Whole Foods Market?

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Frantasia in Boulder, Colorado

85 months ago

Accountability and personal responsibility. There is an overall culture of leadership and an underlying entreprenurial attitude. Leadership, vision, and action are rewarded.

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looking123 in Needham, Massachusetts

80 months ago

timeyoutake, I'm considering a postion at NAO in Cambridge. Any chance we could talk offline? You can email me at lookingformyjob at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

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SnapDad in Austin, Texas

79 months ago

timeyoutake in Cambridge said: The culture varies from region to region, store to store. In the Northeast region, some of the managers are great, very hands-on, available, approachable and communicative. There are others, however, who are rarely available in the store, often out at regional or corporate meetings, and never available to store team members. These are the ones that often get promoted.

Be careful, too. The benefits are supposed to be fantastic at Whole Foods, but they are not what they once were. Recently, team members voted to not have mental health insurance, for example, and because the team members voted to do so, it bypassed the parity law in Massachusetts. I, personally, know of at least half a dozen Whole Foods employees who were forced to quit in order to address their health issues, most of them worked under one particularly abusive and vacant manager. Just be aware. This is "Whole Paycheck", nothing more. However, if you go into the position, knowing this, you can make out quite well, as the stocks are quite valuable.

I wouldn't really recommend it unless you don't mind being stuck in the same position for a long time. The best job is assistant team leader because in my opinion that's the highest position that you can hold and still care about team members. Anything above ATL and its all about licking the boot above you. Team leaders are only concerned with keeping the regional coordinators satisfied and the coordinators have more power in the stores than the Store Team Leaders. So if you really just need something decent until something better comes along, go for it, but as a career move, I would look elsewhere.

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Ptrent in Portland, Maine

75 months ago

I would not recommend working for the Whole Foods in the NA region. It's wrought with corporate nepotism. There is a saying in my store "Team Members come and go, but Team Leaders are forever." My STL in Maine has basically brought her friends from the Boston area up and bullied team leaders into hiring them and then they are promoted quicker then those who have been in the store since it opened. There is NO mentoring being done by the STL or ASTL. It's all about the appearances for corporate. People who don't toe the line are intimidated and forced out. They get away with it because it's the only store for 100 miles and people deal with it because the Maine economy is so poor. I do not believe that WFM is the top 500 company it is made out to be.

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zerohito in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

75 months ago

yeah my aversion began on my Day One- this is code for your first day at work, it's a day of training, seeing where everything is at, watching videos of john mackey who reminds me a lot of some kind of seventies new age amway/est communist guru and various nationwide team members brainwashing the new team member of the various ways that whole foods market is superior to the bunch. and then they test you on the ways in which its great and unique several times throughout the day. and then make you sign it. it was so weird i actually wanted to walk out. but i didn't because the money's pretty good and the economy is poor and i get insurance and if i can make it five years there i'll get stocks.
"Whole Paycheck" i'll have to remember that.

i've been there for a short time, busy little worker bee, full of promise- full of (com)promise. my atl scheduled me for six days of work in a row without overtime, and justified it with the days don't fall in one single work week, but in two like "a wednesday to tuesday schedule is okay but monday to saturday wouldn't be." is that legal?

ZH

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zerohito in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

75 months ago

zerohito in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: yeah my aversion began on my Day One- this is code for your first day at work, it's a day of training, seeing where everything is at, watching videos of john mackey who reminds me a lot of some kind of seventies new age amway/est communist guru and various nationwide team members brainwashing the new team member of the various ways that whole foods market is superior to the bunch. and then they test you on the ways in which its great and unique several times throughout the day. and then make you sign it. it was so weird i actually wanted to walk out. but i didn't because the money's pretty good and the economy is poor and i get insurance and if i can make it five years there i'll get stocks.

"Whole Paycheck" i'll have to remember that.

i've been there for a short time, busy little worker bee, full of promise- full of (com)promise. my atl scheduled me for six days of work in a row without overtime, and justified it with the days don't fall in one single work week, but in two like "a wednesday to tuesday schedule is okay but monday to saturday wouldn't be." is that legal?

ZH

i mean really other than that i'm not complaining. i rather like it there. the open door / open repor is nice, and i could easily tell any one of my leaders what i think and be myself and not feel bad about it. unless of course a regional/ corporate suit comes in and then it's shhh, dad's home. we're all in trouble. my tl's are actually fairly supportive. that's more than i can say about most places i've worked. and it's nice to be able to transfer to a new city as well, to move somewhere else and have a job already.

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Ptrent in Portland, Maine

75 months ago

I quit the day after my post.

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zerohito in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

74 months ago

ok so i posted awhile ago and now i've been there a while more. and i can say for sure i see fault. BUT. but i think it's okay, it'll do and at least it's ok for now. i've worked for the real bad di11do-do.nothings's_inthepast and i say there's a peace and comfort that i get from the goonish atl/stl/tl intrinement and their 3 stooges like maneuvers all the time. it's laughable, it appalling, and it's applaudable all at the same time. if that makes sense.

hey it's a job and i've had worst and i like my discount and my paycheck pays for my rent and my beer. so there. besides the world is ending so who cases?

on the other hand the wild oats takeover was a hostile takeover. i'm curious to who thinks what about that?

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zerohito in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

74 months ago

ps. apparently i'm a communist.

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rusmos jormal in Dallas, Texas

68 months ago

Be very careful, Whole Foods says it is employee friendly but it is so corporate in all it`s values. They hear all conversation and you cannot trust any one. they like incompetent people more, dont be smarter than the manager then you are on the hit list.Let them dictate everything to you take it like a kid.
All the values they say they have is only for those they like. So watch out bro, it is not what it seems

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ch1986 in Providence, Rhode Island

68 months ago

I am just wondering what the application process is like...do I need references if so how many? How long does it take before you start getting your first pay check and it is time and a half on Sundays? Does almost everyone get to work on a sunday? thanks!

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Jane Toppem in Wallingford, Connecticut

62 months ago

Do not be fooled by this organization--although the product and original intent for this type of market was and is good and benevolent, American capitalism and store management has damaged the integrity of Whole Foods' original mission.

The company does not test employees for drugs and it should--many "team members" and often their supervisors get high on their breaks on-site. The poor schmuck who is left manning the fort is often assigned the most hideous of all tasks and must run the department solo while everyone takes their God-forsaken breaks.

The number one goal is to turn a profit and pump wealthy customers for their cash while kissing their butts and making them feel like a million bucks--you must lavish the customers with attention usually reserved for close family and friends.

And don't even think about trying any of the food--the management "encourages sampling", but that's not for the worker. Unless you jump through hoops to get permission, you are considered a theif for eating any of the food, even if it's expired and getting thrown away.

This is a brainwashing, pretend-crunchy, typical Americana capitalistic organization that puts the burden of its hidden agenda sqarely on the broken back of the hourly worker. There is no room for any employees with disabilites, and anti-union meetings are held by management on a regular basis.

The term "benefit" would imply that one would actually receive help for something--benefits at this organization should be re-termed as "Lack of Benefits". Nepotism is how one gets hired and promoted, period.

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rusmos jormal in tyler, Texas

62 months ago

Nepotism is high in Plano(TX) Whole foods, Store leader supports Prep Foods boss even after the whole morning shift folks wrote a letter signing that she is an incompetant leader.She is still there.
Team members have been dealing with her incompetance for years now.She slowly fires one by one keeping her side kicks on . Many employees left that store.. When they have those store walks you can see the place transform overnight into something so perfect and clean. All those sign being put out.
Everything redone. Even signs like the core values, one is about "WE SUPPORT EMPLOYEE HAPPINESS"- what a joke.
I know a bunch of tormented souls still stuck there due to economy. I have been shopping there for 5 yrs on and off. I used to know the ones who left some still in touch.
WFM says that they are foccusing on customer satisfaction !!!LOL, What a joke. Those samples are food expired or about to expire. Eat that for satisfaction. This place is nuts....

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fatnsassy in California, California

56 months ago

rusmos jormal in tyler, Texas said: Nepotism is high in Plano(TX) Whole foods, Store leader supports Prep Foods boss even after the whole morning shift folks wrote a letter signing that she is an incompetant leader.She is still there.
Team members have been dealing with her incompetance for years now.She slowly fires one by one keeping her side kicks on . Many employees left that store.. When they have those store walks you can see the place transform overnight into something so perfect and clean. All those sign being put out.
Everything redone. Even signs like the core values, one is about "WE SUPPORT EMPLOYEE HAPPINESS"- what a joke.
I know a bunch of tormented souls still stuck there due to economy. I have been shopping there for 5 yrs on and off. I used to know the ones who left some still in touch.
WFM says that they are foccusing on customer satisfaction !!!LOL, What a joke. Those samples are food expired or about to expire. Eat that for satisfaction. This place is nuts....

Yes, the samples they give out usually expire that evening.

And yes, one of their core vaules is they support team member happiness; however, when it comes to layoffs, they are ruthless. just ask any of the numerous hard working employees that were laid off in Santa Barbara without warning, no notice, NADA!!! These were very hard working people who put their lives on hold for this company, helped them open it (if you're familiar with a new store opening, you know this is no easy task) and then they were kicked to the curb. How did they choose which employees to let go??? I can't tell you the correct answer for that as the TL's, ASTL and STL all had different fluff answers...

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Keen in Somewhere, California

55 months ago

For sure, the SP region is one that has its pros and its cons. The "sales" are great in stores like Venice, West Hollywood, Mill Valley, etc. Down south, things get a little rough especially in the department I work in. My boss is one of the most incompetent person alive! I wish that I had the opportunity to take over, but the sh**t that occurs there depresses me. Since I'm pretty much stuck (i'm trying to finish my BA)my TL and the department gets worse and worse. Bottom line: my TL is LAZY, he doesn't do his job and leaves me ALL of the load, my team members suck (lazy, don't do their orders, arrive late, take their "25" minute breaks, instead of 15, ZERO knowledge of products we sell!) I do all of the "sales" because they are lost and fumble with words. The coordinators are a bunch of hypocrites whom could care less about team member happiness...they make the WF experience a living nightmare, with their unrealistic goals and constant harrassment for the "numbers". Real retail? Get for real, people don't buy junk. I had interviewed to transfer to another local wholefoods but was sadly rejected because the TL had a FAVORITE. Nepotism...what else can I say...a very hostile environment indeed!

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WholeFoodsGirl in San Francisco, California

47 months ago

There is no typical day. Dress code is casual, if you work with the customers you can't wear things like tank tops or flip flops. They like your hair to be a natural color and you can't wear clothing with obscenities. Each region has it's own dress code so it may change from place to place. I don't know about the offices but in some stores people will post flyers of events or try to organize people for a game of soccer or what not. Others make friends and go out with them. There is typically a yearly holiday party.

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dennis51wb in Littleton, Colorado

46 months ago

Host said: Every business has it's own style. What is the office environment and culture like at Whole Foods Market?

Are people dressed in business casual, jeans and t-shirts, or full-on suits? Do folks get together for Friday happy hours and friendly get-togethers?

What is a typical day in the life of an employee at Whole Foods Market?

It would seem the corporate culture at WF isn't what the general public image suggests. My daughter was "hired" at WF in Boulder in August. They scheduled and rescheduled the mandatory 3-day training any number of times. She was finally scheduled for training Nov 29 - Dec 1. The team leader said he'd also have her schedule. She told him that here cousin Brian had been diagnosed with bone cancer and we would be visiting him over the holidays. They said, Fine, then we can't hire you.

So she passed up two other jobs to take this one and because of personal issues now they say they can't hire her. This is soooo wrong. Had they met their end of the agreement she would have been working for 3 months already and the trip could have been wedged in around her work schedule. To cause her and her family this hardship is hardly in keeping with the image WF tries to project.

I'll never shop there again and I will encourage everyone I know to avoid it as well.

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Meeks in Nashville, Tennessee

36 months ago

I'm still new to the whole foods team, although I am a little discouraged to find that their great insurance does not cover mental health. Why the hell is a company not covering mental health, this is one reason why I started working here in the first place. I am currently on my partner's insurance plan which does cover it. Even though I was hoping to get off of it to sign onto my store's insurance due to the other is really expensive.

Plus regarding the no eating the food issue, I think that is poor taste on the company's behalf because, I would guess that as a team member, I should know how to share what I think about what the food is like to the customer.

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Colin Hayward in Littleton, Colorado

5 months ago

I just quit my job at Safeway because it was terrible, and I have an interview at Whole Foods tomorrow. Honestly, I just hope the people i work with are cool. I'm already used to the idea of never getting promoted and rarely getting raises, I just want to be able to get along with the folks I work with and maybe score some benefits.

I also noticed that, with the exception of the person from Boulder, all of these complaints were from the East Coast and the South. I hope we here in Denver can do different.... probably a bit naive, but I can hope.

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