Brenda Ross-O’Toole and Judy McCarthy offered – and I’m being honest – a heartwarming talk about a grocery store. Well, it’s not really a grocery but a cultural phenomenon.
My live notes…
- Mr. Wegman donated money to a local university – the Wegman’s
School of Pharmacy will ultimately address the national shortage in pharmacists. SMART!
- Continue to build 2-3 new stores each year with 600-800 people per store.
- Wegmans wants employees to be SME for all products – changes the requirements of the labor force
- 30000 employees with 2000 at corporate; different state issues, ages of hires, reasons for employment
- Success is about using the workforce more effectively
- Understanding how long it takes someone to get up to speed from one job to another – also drives succession planning
- Help restructuring business units – any time there’s a business change, WP is involved
- Programs to grow people into jobs, e.g., Wegman’s Culinary Institute trains chefs who will work in Wegmans’ restaurants
- Rely heavily on high school students and keeps them exceptionally engaged; Wegman’s philosophy enables them to work Wegmans into their schedules
- Have changed structures but never had a layoff
- Judy’s daughter, a high school student, works at Wegmans in her hometown and had to take several courses including a vegetable identification class – cool]
- After being named to Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For, saw a 50% spike in resume submissions
- Conduct heavy demographic research prior to a new store to fully understand the labor pool (Judy: “The book is THIS big.”)
- Someone commented that the reason there are few Wal-Mart’s in Western New York is that they’re afraid of Wegman’s (slight applause – oh please); Brenda noted that the customer demographics are different and backed it up
- The boomerang effect – leaving and coming back – has happened (remember Erma Bombeck? She wrote a great book, “The Grass is Greener Over the Septic Tank” – how true, how true)
- “There really aren’t lots in people in HR who like to analyze data”
- Developing a Workforce Plan requires collaboration with many internal organizations
And a presentation of a business case that demonstrated all of the above and more…
Great stuff especially the reliance on in-depth local economic data as a key driver of workforce planning and an incredible belief in an understanding the needs of their employees while maintaining Wegmans high business standards – even to the point of modifying existing or creating new structures to enable specific employee groups to achieve personal and professional goals…