Whole Foods has fresh approach – Statistical Data Included
Its motto is “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet,” and in a nutshell, that’s what this Austin, TX grocery chain is all about.
Although they do make a very healthy profit, they don’t exist only for that reason, says Whole Foods’ management, but rather to serve all their stakeholders – customers, employees, shareholders, the community and the environment. Their success at doing it all has made them the winner of this year’s Business Ethics Corporate Citizenship Award. The company cares for the environment by promoting organic agriculture, safer pesticides in non-organic foods and better labeling, among other things. One way it cares for its 17,000 employees is with empowered, trusted teams. All employees are in a team, and each does its own hiring (new hires work for a three-day trial, and must be voted in by two-thirds of the team), firing and training. Each sets its own performance targets and does purchasing and scheduling. The company also caps executive compensation at ten times average full time pay, and gives employees open access to all financials, including all salaries. Anyone who has worked 6,000 hours is granted stock opt ions. Not forgotten in the mix of stakeholders, says Business Ethics, is the community. While typical companies donate 1% of after-tax profits to charity, this company donates an impressive 5%. Last year, contributions in cash and product totaled $2.4 million.
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