3 Critical Things I Learned When I Worked For Wegmans

Fortune released their annual list of the Top 100 Companies to Work for yesterday. Salesforce took the number one spot, but I want to talk about the first runner up–Wegmans.

Wegmans was my first “real” job out of graduate school. Prior to joining, I worked in temp jobs as I struggled to find a place that wanted to hire someone with a master’s degree in political science. They gave me a chance. I only worked there for a year and a half, but during my time there, I learned a ton, and it relates directly to why Wegmans has been on the top 100 company list for 21 years. Here are three things I learned from Wegmans.

1. Understanding the Business is the Key to Success

I was an HR analyst. I ran numbers, I analyzed contracts and I made pay recommendations. That was my job. But I spent three weeks working in a store, on my feet, serving customers, stocking shelves, and running a cash register. The only department I didn’t work in was the bakery and that was simply because I needed to get back to my primary job. (And perhaps, they rightly assumed that if they tried to have me decorate a cake, I’d drive away business.)

To keep reading, click here: 3 Critical Things I Learned When I Worked For Wegmans

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6 thoughts on “3 Critical Things I Learned When I Worked For Wegmans

  1. I think every employer would benefit by having management and other administrative support staff actually work for awhile “in the trenches” out in the field.

    1. I fully believe in this. I was amazed at how much better I became at my job after I understood the tasks people were doing. Suddenly, the high turnover in produce made sense to me. That job is HARD!

    2. I spent my career in AT&T and it’s successor and predecessor companies. When I started it was still common for everyone to start in an entry-level position and work their way up. Even our respected chairman, Ed Whittaker, started as a lineman.

    1. I take it you’ve never worked at a company where the HR department never leaves corporate HQ and it’s on the other coast. I have and believe their staff would welcome the idea of outsourcing HR. At least then they’re likely to know the technical aspects of what they’re doing.

      1. Exactly one of my clues-it’s-time-to-look-elsewhere after a corporate acquisition: first local HR was allowed to work mostly remotely (and one HR guy bolted from Ohio to Florida within a month); some months later almost all HR functions were shifted to the distant corporate headquarters– but not remotely worked. Like it or lump it… Interesting watching it happen to HR!

        Bottom line: if you don’t have a chance of running into the poobahs in the corridors, you’re just another cost center without a face.

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