Human Resource Management in Whole Foods Market

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Whole Foods Market is a leader for natural foods stores in America. They seek out the finest natural and organic foods available and maintain a high quality of standard in the industry. Due to having a Quality state of mind, Whole Foods Market has an accelerated customer base. As the health-conscious population of consumers is on the rise, people are leaning towards healthy, chemical-free and organic diet choices.

Whole Foods Market was founded in 1980 by four local farmers in Austin, Texas; John Mackey and Renee Lawson Hardy, owners of Safer Way Natural Foods, and Craig Weller and Mark Skiles, owners of Clarksville Natural Grocery. These family owned small stores sold natural organic food products. Keeping their primary idea in mind, they decided to enter the industry in the form of a supermarket.

A staff of 19 people was present when it initially opened for business; today there are over 496 retail and non-retail location an over 89,000 employees over United States, Canada and United Kingdom (Malcolm H, 2015). In 1984, Whole Foods Market expanded out of Austin. Houston and Dallas were the very first places and then they ventured into New Orleans with the purchase of Whole Food Company (Malcolm H, 2015). They started expanding not only in the United States but also in Canada and United Kingdom.

Whole Foods company’s success is majorly backed by the core values relating to its employees and its mission statement. The stand by their statement of “Our purpose is to nourish people and the planet”. This not only contributes to the society but also to the happiness and welfare of employees. The company offers excellent benefits. Benefits are more than health benefits, paid time off and 401k. They give employee access to everything that keep them healthy and happy. They believe that a person is more productive when his body feels 100percent.

Company strongly feels that success is dependent upon the collective energy, intelligence and contributions of all team members. In 2017, Whole Food was listed in top 100 best companies to work for (Fortune Magazine, 2017). A unique human resource strategy is the primary driver of company’s success. Whole Foods Market has been shaped by its human resource practices such as its mission, strategy, goals, benefits, structure, and reward systems.

Core Values and Work Culture

Whole Foods list of core values are given very high importance from an organization point of view. These values are what defines company’s work culture. They are not subject to change. Whole Food’s work culture is founded on 6 core values- promoting team member growth and happiness, caring about the community and the environment, selling the highest quality of natural and organic foods, satisfying and delighting the customers, practicing a win-win partnership with the suppliers and creating profits and prosperity.

Whole Foods cares about the communities and the environment. They serve and support a local community by providing employment, investment in local non-profits and business to local producers. They offer nutritional education for the children and food access to the poor population. Creating a balance between their needs and the needs of the rest of the planet is one of their core strengths. Whole Foods is also committed to reduce waste and boost water and energy conservation.

Another core value is promoting team member growth and happiness. As mentioned before, they believe that success is dependent upon the collective energy, intelligence and contributions of the whole team. Employees can be 100percent productive when they get motivated and feel safe in a work environment. Having transparent communications, open door policies and inclusive people practices are the tactics used by them to build trust between team members.

We appreciate and recognize the good work that our fellow team members do every day. Selling the highest quality natural and organic foods is given high importance. They are one among the leaders in the market that set product quality standards.

They not only focus on growing fresh and tasty food products but also safe and highly nutritious products. They satisfy and delight their customers by providing outstanding customer service that is backed by their knowledge, skills and expertise. For Whole Foods, customer always comes first and is always right. Practicing win-win partnership with its suppliers is another core value which Whole Foods considers seriously.

They treat their suppliers with respect fairness and integrity while expecting same in return. This helps in maintaining a proper pipeline of food products. One of the most important core value that Whole Foods practice is creating profits and prosperity. They closely monitor their profits as profits are essential to create capital for growth, job security and other financial successes.

Motivational Strategies

Whole Foods builds its business on teams. The success of a team is the output of leadership principles set by its Human Resources department. Having a purpose driven approach helps the employee set a goal in mind which these principles help in achieving that goal. Customer are treated as the most important stakeholders. They are the ones who drive the business.

Planning at Whole Foods is done keeping the long-term goal in mind. This sometimes results in sacrificing short-term financial profits. Company motivates its employees to be hungry for knowledge. This results in innovative ideas which in turn produce operational excellence. They recognize exceptional talents and wiling move them throughout the organization. This helps them learn how other areas in the company work, thus increasing cross-team functionality. There is always room to learn new skills and get knowledge.

At Whole Foods, employees are motivated to care about others and try to serve the higher purpose of the company. Employees are prompted to respectfully challenge decisions when in disagreement, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Compromise for the sake of social cohesion is not entertained. Once a decision is determined, employees commit wholly in support of the decision.

Such motivating leadership principles produce highly efficient teams which then bolster company’s business and success. The company went public in 1992 and since then the stock price has increased over 3000percent (Burkus D, 2016).

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, introduced new strategy in 2017 based on the principles stated before which sounded promising. After implementation of the strategy, the total sales went up by 1.9 percent to $4.9 billion; comparable store sales decreased by 2.4 percent and thirteen new stored opened (Pogorelc D, 2017).


Cite this paper

Human Resource Management in Whole Foods Market. (2021, May 29). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/human-resource-management-in-whole-foods-market/



What is human resource management as a whole?
Human resource management is the process of managing people in organizations. This includes the management of employee records, benefits, training, and development.
What is Whole Foods Market Strategy?
Whole Foods Market Strategy is to provide the highest quality, healthiest, and best tasting food possible. The company also focuses on building long-term relationships with their customers and employees.
What skills should I list for Whole Foods?
Some skills that may be beneficial to list when applying for a position at Whole Foods include: customer service experience, ability to work in a fast-paced environment, and effective communication skills.
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