What Is Trader Joe's Corporate Culture

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Trader Joe's Corporate Culture

Sarah Frederick
Dr. Milburn
BUS 520 - Leadership and Organizational Behavior
October 25, 2014
Trader Joe's Corporate Culture Trader Joe's uses a more personable and open approach when hiring its employees, throughout the training process, and continues to encourage this attitude and culture company-wide. This method of connecting with their employees leads to greater employee loyalty and morale, which positively affects the bottom line. Trader Joe's uses this approach to further their relationships with their employees and cultivate knowledgeable and invested employees throughout the Trader Joe's experience. This idea is the bedrock of their management style; hiring friendly, engaging, and personable people and training them to know as much as they can about the products and all aspects of Trader Joe's. Trader Joe's also shows their employees how much they appreciate their loyalty and commitment to knowing all they can about their products by compensating the employees on a much greater scale than any competitor in the industry. This enables the employees to feel as though they are a treasured part of the team, and allows customers the confidence of feeling that they can try new things at Trader Joe's. Trader Joe's begins the process of promoting a positive work environment by seeking out and hiring people who are friendly, polite, customer-service oriented and who like to smile. They appreciate a potential employee's personal value system and willingness to learn as much as actual retail work experience(Schermerhorn, 2012 p. W-100). Trader Joe's continues to show their employees how much they are valued by compensating them much higher than any competitor and offering full benefits including health and dental insurance, paid vacation, retirement funding, and an employee discount. Managers are reported as earning more than $120K per year. Trader Joe's also invests in their employee's knowledge base and provides incredible training so that their employees are equally invested in the success of the business. Employees follow the model of the business; the idea that this isn't a grocery store, it's an exotic experience. Employees are taught everything possible about product offerings and the company itself, so that they are able to answer any customer query and engage the customer in an experience far greater than simple shopping. Finally, Trader Joe's treats its employees like family, continuing in the idea of philosophy and knowledge, but also internal promotion. Employees know that they are valuable parts of the company, and the is a self-perpetuating cycle(Schermerhorn, 2012). Trader Joe's has developed a strategic plan that relies heavily on great employees who can deliver a truly unique experience to their customers. They began their company with the realization that great employees can make or break a company, and if they want to continue to offer exotic and perhaps more costly items, they have to continue to make the consumer experience different and worth the cost. They have used their employees in the business plan as a method of adding value to their company, so that they can retain and grow their customer base. Management is compensated well, and helps to create a cycle for the employees, by treating them well, making sure they are knowledgeable, and compensating them well. Trader Joe also offers a university to encourage continued learning and to encourage internal promotion, another strategic plan that has led to loyal and expert employees(Schermerhorn, 2014). Leaders in any industry can use the four EI competencies to encourage employee growth, increase employee morale, create a more self-aware culture, and execute impeccable customer service. One way to emulate Trader Joe's and to create a positive culture is to recruit and retain employees that have the desire to learn about their industry and are rewarded for being loyal employees. Acting on the four EI