What Trader Joe’s Figured Out About Work Culture That My Other Past Employers Haven’t

Workplace | Employment | Leadership

By Hayley Benham-Archdeacon—Lattice | 09.13.17

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[Photo: ablokhin/iStock]

When I was hired by Trader Joe’s at 16, I wasn’t even legally able to run a register. I was told I was hired based on my personality, even if I was almost useless. By the time I left seven years later, I’d worked across six different stores. And I don’t know how they do it, but they have the best managers possible, consistently.

Trader Joe’s hierarchy is organized unlike anywhere else I’ve worked. Each store runs with one captain, and a team of eight to 12 mates. Everyone else is crew. And yes, they are thorough with the sailor-ship deck theme.

I thought that having so many middle managers would cause problems, but in fact it turns out to be good for everyone. Oversight of opening and closing shifts are distributed evenly, and tasks and assignments are rotated throughout the week, which means no one is stuck taking in the frozen truck at 4 a.m. every single morning, or closing out our computers every night until midnight. Maybe that’s why managers are able to stay so nice to us. And if you don’t feel comfortable going to one manager about a problem or personal event? No problem, you have 10 others to speak to.

At my last store, my coworker was having a rough time in his personal life and the frustration was beginning to show at work. We watched a manager take him out back, presumably for a stern talking to. In fact, the manager handed him a box of broken eggs from the spoils cart, taped a plastic pallet wrap up to the wall of our loading dock, and told him to throw eggs at the wall until he felt better. It worked.

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How to say no at work | Employer

Employment | Communication in the workplace | Career advice

by Reuben Yonatan, founder and CEO of GetVoIP | Undercover Recruiter

Perhaps the most important skill to learn at work is prioritization. By taking on some projects and declining others, it is possible to control your work quality more effectively, something that is absolutely crucial.

But learning when and how to say no is something particularly difficult in an American professional climate where people tend to be boastful about overwork to an unhealthy degree.

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Ten Things That Are Worse For Your Career Than Getting Fired

Career advice | Employment | Job termination

by Liz Ryan | March 7, 2017

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Dear Liz,

I am in a sticky situation at work. I was transferred into this position against my will a year ago.

My supervisor “Vince” is the least popular supervisor in the company. Nobody transfers into his department voluntarily…..

Dear Cam,

If Vince terminates you, you will find out that getting fired is not a big deal, especially when you know it’s a personality conflict and nothing more……

Getting fired is not damaging to your career unless you believe it is.

Here are 10 things that are worse for your career than getting fired: [italics mine]

1. Staying in a job you hate only because you’re afraid of making a change.

2. Letting your co-workers down so many times that they stop trusting you, and building a bad reputation for yourself in the process.

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You’ve Got the Job, Now What? How to Stay Relevant at the Workplace

Career Advice | Mentoring | Employment |Professional development

By on February 22, 2017

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Do more, achieve more, stay relevant

You’ve made it through the first 18 months of your social-impact job! Give yourself a pat on the back. I know it wasn’t easy but you didn’t break, and now you’ve made a name for yourself.

As I mentioned in part one of this series, You’ve Got the Job…What’s Next?once you’ve been at your job for 12-18 months, you should be working toward “Superstar Status” by stepping outside of your role and establishing yourself as a leader. You’ll need to be more and do more in order to stay relevant.

Here’s how to stay relevant at the workplace by excelling at your work and stepping up for new challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities:

Be an advocate and an ambassador

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Master Confrontation

Leadership & Management Career Coach, Introvert Whisperer

If you’re a leader or intend to be, you will have to do things to step out of your comfort zone. It’s part of the job.

Confronting peers, subordinates and even the boss (at times) when results aren’t matching plan expectations must take place to steer things back to where they need to be. If you avoid it, you are knowingly allowing the business to drive over the metaphorical cliff. It’s a poor business practice.

Granted confrontation feels so uncomfortable that the majority of people avoid it altogether. Of course, we know stories of the ugly side of confrontation when a leader has allowed the situation to fester to an ugly, emotional rampage. Even though this type of tirade may make the point for course correction, it’s damaging and dysfunctional. No one wins.

What’s the solution? Read more…

Ten Things I Couldn’t Care Less About When I’m Hiring

Hiring people is such an organic and human activity, it kills me to see how many companies do it badly. They try to make recruiting a linear, data-driven and analytical process, but that’s impossible, because recruiting is all about the energy that flows between and among people.

It has nothing to do with data. It has nothing to do with particles — like all human activities, it is all about waves!

Recruiting has nothing to do with keyword-searching algorithms. How sad it is to see how my HR profession has devolved!   Read more…

 

8 Signs an Employee Is Exceptional (Which Never Appear on Performance Evaluations)

Many are good. Some are superior. And a few–just a few–are exceptional. Here’s how to tell the difference.