In my opinion, training and associate learning would be more important for Whole Foods compared to other grocery stores because it will help the company to become more successful on the market where more and more competitors offer organic products. Better-trained employees who are members of their teams will be stimulated to work better, thus benefiting the team and contributing to the whole firm. Employees should be properly trained and their skills improved to the extent when they would correspond to the market’s demand and customers’ needs. First, associates should know properly not only what they are learning but also why they are learning it. They become more productive and motivated if they know why it is important to learn something for their work. Second, associates should base their learning on their own experiences using it to comprehend new information. Third, it is necessary to practice theoretical knowledge. Finally, associates should receive feedback related to their learning (Hitt, Miller, & Colella, 2015).
According to the nature of Whole Foods’ jobs and the way the company selects its employees, all Big Five personality traits would be important for Whole Foods associates (Hitt, Miller, & Colella, 2015). They should be extraverted because their work is based on various interactions with customers. Thus, they should feel happy working with people in order to maintain the effectiveness of business. Associates should also be conscientious because Whole Foods regularly sets goals for its employees, which they should be disciplined enough to reach. Employees should be agreeable as they work in teams and have team leaders. Thus, employees should follow their leaders to achieve team goals in time and have desirable results. Moreover, the associates of Whole Foods should have emotional stability. It is important because they need to be able to cope with stress easily as well as with difficult situations, which are typical of the sales sphere. Finally, employees should be open to experience because they are trained regularly as well as encouraged to use their initiative and introduce something new in their workplaces.
Whole Foods emphasizes several motivational practices in its management system. First, the company puts an emphasis on the tying rewards to performance practice because employees are motivated to work better in their teams. When the performance of the teams improves, they receive rewards in a form of additional payment. A particular sum corresponds to particular performance figures. Second, Whole Foods uses job enrichment. In the company, everything is fair and transparent, and any employee can get a higher position and other tasks and responsibilities to enrich their previous job when they demonstrate good performance and desire to work. Furthermore, the practice of clarifying expectations and goals is used too. All employees are the members of the teams that are responsible for particular areas of work or groups of merchandize. Each team has clear goals that are set for a team leader and explained to team members; thus, they can work better to achieve certain results (Hitt, Miller, & Colella, 2015).
Based on the demand-control model of stress, Whole Foods team members and executives experience a high level of stress. It happens because their workplace demands are increasing. Executives are the leaders of their teams, and they are responsible for the overall performance of each team. Team members experience much stress because they have many tasks and should reach the team’s goals. Moreover, they should undergo trainings regularly. Based on the effort-reward model of stress, Whole Foods team members and executives experience a low level of stress because they do not face the imbalance of high efforts and low rewards. Their efforts are high, and rewards are high as well. Thus, due to the balance between rewards and efforts, stress levels are low.
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