Case Analysis: Wegmans’ Work Culture Kim Nguyen Francesco Russo Ben Sandberg Lauren Smith Group #8 February 28, 2019
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report outlines the managerial strategies and approaches of Wegmans, an American supermarket chain. The chain is one of the few companies to be listed in Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For in the US” every year. This report considers Wegmans corporate culture and employee management in analyzing what makes Wegmans successful. COMPANY UPDATES Wegmans operated under a system of employee-orientation, where they celebrate, respect, and prioritize their workers’ satisfaction. This system has been integral to the company’s identity and success since founded in 1916 and has not changed significantly since. HUMAN CAPITAL AS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE Wegmans empowers and invests in their employees. This investment contributes to the company’s low attrition rate. Furthermore, it encourages employee engagement. The grocery store chain educates employees about the products they sell. Wegmans will send personnel across the globe to understand products on a fundamental level. Finally, the company shows it values employees by encouraging new ideas and input. WEGMANS’ ORGANIZATIONAL CLIMATE Wegmans has embraced new logic since its beginning. The company promotes high employee engagement. Its interest in employee input and community involvement also classifies Wegmans as an adhocracy. IMITABILITY OF WEGMANS’ ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE Wegmans’ embrace of new logic and its “Employees First” strategy are unique in the retail supermarket industry. These management approaches are costly and take years to implement. Wegmans’ competition has tried and failed to duplicate the employee-first strategy. CONCLUSION Wegmans’ dedication to innovation, employee engagement and investment has contributed to its continued growth and profitability. Managers should consider these strategies for improved employee retention and long-term success. 1
Company Updates Wegmans has undergone several changes in managerial systems since its 1916 beginnings. The food grocery store began as “Rochester Food and Vegetable” and was operated out of Walter and Jack Wegman’s family home. In the 1930s, the brothers reformatted their store entirely into a self-service concept and renamed itself “Wegmans Food Markets Inc.” They incorporated large refrigerated food displays, homemade candy kiosks and a large eating cafeteria. In the next twenty to thirty years later, Wegmans further expanded into food processing, acquired an egg farm, on-site meat processing center, created a central bakery, and began selling gift cards, floral products, pharmaceutical products, and home improvement products such as lumber, hardware, millwork, and garden materials. Furthermore, they adopted electronic selling methods such as electronic cash registers, optical scanning systems, and ATMs before competitors.
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- Spring '13
- Organizational studies, Wegmans Food Markets, Robert Wegman