Usual Grocery Suspects Make 2020 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For List
Wegmans Food Markets, Publix Super Markets and Nugget Markets have once more been named among the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, compiled by global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work and the business publication. On the 2020 list, Wegmans was No. 3, the same as its 2019 ranking; Publix was No. 39, down from 12th place last year; and Nugget was No. 79, a slight uptick from 2019’s position in 81st place.
According to Great Place to Work, the list is based on survey responses from more than 650,000 employees rating their workplace culture on 60-plus elements of the workplace, among them trust in managers, respect, fairness and camaraderie. The ranking accounted for the experiences of all employees across all demographics.
“The 104-year-old family-owned grocery opened a Brooklyn store (NYC’s first!) last fall and boasts a cult following even among employees,” Fortune wrote of Wegmans. “Top brass offer produce workers the chance to be farm-to-table ambassadors on the organic farms supplying their stores, and connect all employees to SVP of Operations Bob Farr through a Q&A platform titled ‘Ask Bob’ (with more than 16,000 answered queries to date). Notes one employee: ‘When management says they care, it actually shows in their actions.’”
“We are so grateful for our dedicated employees who have made us a part of this list for the past 23 years,” said Colleen Wegman, president and CEO of Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans, which has made the ranking every year since its inception in 1998. “Our people make shopping and working at Wegmans a truly special experience every day. We celebrate and thank them for all they do to earn this incredible honor.”
Wegmans customers and employees will celebrate the honor on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 11 a.m. when cake and clementine oranges will be served at every one of the chain’s stores.
“Publix grocery chain offers tuition reimbursement in an approved area of study to any employee performing successfully, working an average of 10 hours weekly, and with at least six months of continuous tenure,” Fortune observed. “Information systems programmer Kelly Amig says she started at the company as a part-time cashier while in high school and then completed four years of college without a single student loan, thanks to the program: ‘I was able to grow personally and professionally because I stayed with Publix.’”
“I’m proud we continue to be recognized as a great place to work,” said Todd Jones, CEO of Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix, which has also made the list every year since it began. “These honors show the dedication our associates have to perpetuating the values Mr. George [Jenkins] founded Publix [almost] 90 years ago. We know these values are what make our company great and what make Publix the place where shopping is a pleasure.”
Describing Woodland, Calif.-based Nugget, which is making its 15th appearance in the ranking, Fortune wrote: “Employees have found that knowledge programs at the family-owned grocery — such as the Passport Program, allowing them to learn every department in their store, and the sustainability commitment, which reduces landfill tonnage each consecutive year — also result in additional career opportunities. Meanwhile, appreciation programs abound: ‘We are encouraged to write cards complimenting a job well done, and if that card gets selected at random, the associate … gets to spin for money’ and take home a prize worth up to $100.”
“The 100 Best show the way forward,” noted Michael C. Bush, CEO of Oakland, Calif.-based Great Place to Work. “These companies have created Great Places to Work For All — for everyone, no matter who a person is or what they do for the organization. As a result, they have built a path to realize the promise of artificial intelligence, gain strength from a diversity of perspectives, and thrive during downturns.”
Among the other retailers on the list, Altoona, Pa.-based convenience store chain Sheetz ranked 80th.
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list is one of a series of rankings by Great Place to Work and Fortune based on employee feedback from Great Place to Work-Certified organizations. Wegmans, Publix and Nugget have made some of these other lists as well, including Publix’s second consecutive showing this year as one of Fortune’s Best Big Companies to Work For, coming in from No. 7 – down from first place last year in the inaugural ranking, which features only companies with more than 100,000 employees. Other rankings include the Best Workplaces for Diversity and Best Workplaces in Retail.
Publix, which operates more than 1,200 grocery stores in seven southeastern states in the Southeast, is No. 5 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States. Family-owned Wegmans, which has 101 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts and North Carolina, is No. 16 on PGs 2019 50 list.