Whole Foods Market

www.wholefoodsmarket.com
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Whole Foods Market Reviews

Updated February 25, 2015
Updated February 25, 2015
113 Reviews
1.0
113 Reviews
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Whole Foods Market co-CEOs John Mackey and Walter Robb
John Mackey and Walter Robb
113 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Team members have a say in everything that concerns the welfare of the overall company (in 190 reviews)

  • Fun place to work, great benefits if you actually get a chance to work full time (in 125 reviews)


Cons
  • When changes are made it is up to team members to figure out the way without any guidance (in 173 reviews)

  • Lack of accountability, team leaders promoted to position but not trained -- terrible (in 122 reviews)

More Highlights

113 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1.  

    It's good if you want to have non-flexible hours and get constantly yelled at by either your boss or customers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Front End Cashier in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Front End Cashier in Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at Whole Foods Market part-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    I guess I would say the discounts were pretty nice, and some of the people you work with might be alright. The atmosphere is casual, at least.

    Cons

    The management was pretty bad, and the customer was always right. A lot of my coworkers were nice, but there were a handful that were really creepy and made me extremely uncomfortable. Also, the customers are just plain awful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My advice to management would be to have better hiring standards and to not always take the customers side. They're actually not always right.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Poor management, lousy scheduling, seniority means nothing. Felt like a slave working there

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Prep Foods Team Member in Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - Prep Foods Team Member in Salt Lake City, UT

    I worked at Whole Foods Market

    Pros

    I liked some of the people I worked with. Good benefits, but pay was lousy.

    Cons

    Managment is clueless, they hid in their cubicles, only come to the floor to give you more work on top of your already heavy work load. Schedules often come out the day before they start. They will schedule to 11:00-11:30 pm then sometimes back at 6:30am. They often give the new hires weekends and nights off, making those who have been there the crappy schedules. Too many all store meetings starting at 6am, which is tough when you got off at midnight. Then back to work at 2. The meetings are mostly about nothing. We had a lady who didn't show up for 2 weeks, was still on the schedule leaving us shorthanded, She came came back and still had her job, worked a few days then quit coming into work, was still on the schedule for 3 weeks, then she came back saying she wanted her job back, so my boss was trying to get her hired at another store. Management plays favorites to those who don't show up or work. Treats employees who do work like crap. Worst job I have ever had. Cut our full time hours to 32 hours a week still making you work 5 days a week, but short days. Part timers got 28-30 hours

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay employees better, Make your team leaders work on the floor, quit promoting those who don't work hard. Have schedules come out sooner then the day before they start. Give employees set schedules. Give full time employee more hours.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Smoke and mirrors .. it's profit before everything else, just disguised in marketing glamour.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Coordinator in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Associate Coordinator in Austin, TX

    I worked at Whole Foods Market full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Many of the people are great.

    Cons

    Leadership is terrible, especially at the coordinator level and above. Cronyism is part of the culture.
    So many promises, so little follow through. Work-life balance is a joke.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire people with real business skills, not just your friends. Make an actual strategic plan, follow best-practices in business, act like professionals and set standards for others to follow.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Too many changes

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Buyer/Specialist in Marietta, GA
    Current Employee - Buyer/Specialist in Marietta, GA

    I have been working at Whole Foods Market full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    -good benefits (but declining)
    -pay can be good if you work as a low level TM
    -good sales/TM discount

    Cons

    -Constantly advertises that they promote from within which is NOT TRUE. All upper management typically comes from outside and more often they are bringing in TLs and ATLs from outside competitors and they end up being trained by their buyers or just not able to do the job at all whatsoever. I know an ATL who voiced her goal of becoming a STL - she was told to quit, become a manager for a different company and then get hired back in as a STL.
    -Management focuses on the small stuff - i.e. they will make you build a giant display (that you insist won't sell because you've known this product for years and its movement) that isn't necessary when your shelves are empty. Complete disregard for the priorities of the store...why should I focus on something I will THROW AWAY in a month when I don't have the products that I will sell out on the sales floor.
    -Everything management promotes is a lie - In every interview I've sat in, we ask questions to get the person to admit that they will ask for help when needed. I've asked for help numerous times to my management when we've been backed up/short handed/etc and they agree, but never show up or offer any alternative. That's when I go to front end and ask if they can spare someone for an hour. They always apologize and say time gets away from them (which I understand happens) but literally DOZENS of times from various ASTLs.....and then we find out that the ASTLs are gossiping about how many complaints we make....yet they refuse to help us. I even see them in other departments..meat, bakery, prep foods.....I feel as though I could be on a sinking ship screaming for help and they will pass me by to help the boat who ran out of fuel.
    -NO FEEDBACK - I have been kept in the dark about my "areas of opportunity" because they don't want to get "emotional." I've asked numerous times WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO GET HERE IN THIS COMPANY and I've been blown off each time. They rely on others to give that feedback, but not all members of management share the same opinion so I've even been told things such as "you need to be more understanding of customer complaints" and I'll ask "in what way, give me an example of what I should be doing better" and I will be told that they have no idea and they think I do great, but upper management has said this.
    -Clueless management - I was unfortunate enough to be hired on as a 20 year old in college. Because of this, my store management will never stop seeing me as that crazy college kid. Regardless of my accomplishments; regardless of my TMs' feedback on how I'm kind, but strict; regardless of my praise from TLs here and at other stores - I will still never be good enough/ mature enough/ smart enough for them to even considering promoting me - even when I've proven myself and had offers from other stores.
    -Anti green mission - I'm constantly told to order huge amounts of perishable products to impress members of regional or corporate who visit our store. I have an insane amount of waste after these walks and they do not care. I give solutions to this, build displays and show them what I can do without ordering an extra $10,000 a week, but they don't care because *this person* likes to see it *this way.*
    -Minorities are king - I wonder if they get some sort of bonus if they have homosexuals or other minorities in leadership. There are plenty of minorities who do a fine job in their leadership roles, but too often I've seen people who are more capable of a job be turned down and that job given to someone not qualified who happens to be a minority. This probably also plays into the giant favoritism issue within this company.
    -It is not a safe work environment - It took THREE YEARS of an older gentlemen sexually harassing numerous female employees before action was taken (and that action was sitting him down and letting him know he makes us feel uncomfortable - which we've shared with him plenty of times before.) WFM does not want to "ban" customers or make them feel "unwelcome" so they welcome shoplifters and perverts into their stores. I've had customers grab me to try and kiss me on the cheek. I've had customers pay me compliments about how I remind them of their ex sexual partners and ask if I'm also into *some sort of fetish.* I've had customers ask me what my underwear looks like I have to giggle and say "I don't feel comfortable talking about that, but is there something I can help you find?" WFM constantly puts customers in front of their employees. Do not deny a customer and extra sample - don't even scorn them if they use their dirty toothpick to pick up multiple samples, but you are at risk of getting written up if you were to do any of that.
    -Compensation does not match the job - As a buyer, I've had to train other buyers and TMs who get paid more than me. Not just a little more, full dollars more. There can be a cashier whose been here for years who will put in the bare minimum for the job and do not wish to do more and they can earn $4 more an hour compared to their supervisor. I've even questioned store leadership about this...Why should I spend so much time figuring out how to raise my sales, fix my margins, reduce my waste when I could stand at a cash register and get paid more (not downing their jobs because I know it has it's own challenges, but it really cannot be compared.) His answer was that he doesn't really understand all that, but HEY THEIR JOB IS HARD. One time at a bar, a cashier who had been working for WFM years longer than I had asked me how they figured out gainsharing, so I pulled out a pen a paper and started drawing a graph saying "heres the money you spend on your labor...." and so on. I couldn't even finish before he said "uh, nevermind. I don't care anymore. LOL" He gets paid more than I, but I am expected to know this plus a million other things. There are even ATLs who do not know how to figure out margins and somehow it is known that I am great with them so I end up being required to teach them. How the hell did they get their jobs without knowing about margin? Why can't I be rewarded for my accomplishments!!!????
    -I don't want to sound like an extremist, but men ARE paid more than woman - especially at WFM. I know a female TL who got into leadership 5 years ago. Her husband just currently got hired as a TL at a different store and he started off making more money than she currently does at this moment.
    -EXTREME gossiping, favoritism, and politics. Before you walk in to a interview, leadership already knows who they want for that job. Even if they bomb that interview and the other person excels, they will choose whom ever they want. Even if the vote is not in favorite of a specific person, leaderships can "override" that vote. So, no matter what - if they want HIM for the job and you plus 2 other candidates are more qualified, HE is still getting the job. I've seen people get fired for specific reasons and other people don't even get sat down and talked to for doing the same thing. I know someone who has cussed out a customer, but she was good friends with the STL and had been there for a long time, so they did. not. even. get. in. trouble. Other employees would have been fired ON. THE. SPOT. If you're a good worker, you won't get written up for being late - if you're a bad worker, you will.
    -Constantly have to stay late because I will get in trouble for not finishing this task....but wait, I'll get in trouble for using overtime. I've doled out tasks to other TMs, but I end up having to redo it because its either not done write/management doesn't like it/they just suck. I feel plagued by bad team members. I've had to cover for a lazy worker for 2 YEARS and no one ever did anything to make him work harder until now. I've complained about a TM spending ONE HOUR on a break...and it was laughed about and he wasn't even talked to (the TL I had during that time is now an ASTL). Why should I work hard when he doesn't have to and still receives raises? I try so hard not to care....I ALWAYS get the bottom of the stick...Labors too short and someone has to be scheduled a shift by herself, running the whole department for 8 hours without being able to sit down.....thats me. Yet they still try to cut labor more instead of hiring better workers.....

    I could go ON and ON about this company - every day it turns more "corporate." They like to use fancy marketing tools, but on the inside it's a corporate grocery store with less career opportunities. I can't wait to put in my two weeks notice.

    p.s. no such thing as work-life balance in this company. They make sure of it. I've never had a day off where I haven't been called. Many times before 9am. I spend the last 30 minutes of every shift making a list for everyone to do.....even my ATL. One day I just want to work a shift and do what needs to be done....not what no one else will do. I feel like I run my own sub-departments because my ATL and TL are so absent from it. I had been sending them "communication" emails, but I've realized it's pointless because even if I do ask them to do a 15 minute task for me since I'm off, they won't. That is how I'm rewarded for doing a great job.....I get ignored because they know I will be able to handle it and focus on other sub-departments. I'm so good that I don't deserve help?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop brainwashing - be real - GIVE FEEDBACK - give opportunities to those who deserve it - reward those who are excelling financially - don't group them in with the store and say "great job on the sales" when you're driving the comps - have working interviews!!! You can hire a really sucky worker and they can play by the rules and NEVER get let go

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    store manager had childish emperor complex towards lower level team members

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Specialty Team Member in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Specialty Team Member in Washington, DC

    I worked at Whole Foods Market full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    helping customers find the food items that they were looking for. Giving customers my likes and dislikes of certain beers and wines.

    Cons

    working underneath a team member that goofed off too much but earned more money because he was a beer buyer for the store. Working for a store manager that only wanted to work with other team members that he raided from other stores that he used to work with. This manager had no!!! regard for lower level team members.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When you see that one store has a lot of firings--there MUST be something wrong with that store management.

    I believe that the store manager SHOULD really be LOOKED at.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Waste of time , far from original company values, very poor leadership

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - WFM CS Team in Brentwood, MO
    Former Employee - WFM CS Team in Brentwood, MO

    I worked at Whole Foods Market full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nice co workers and decent benefits however you have to wait too long to get these benefits

    Cons

    Shady leadership, many people do not know anything about there departments

    TLs = bad
    TLs just hire their favorite TMs; therefore, TLs never fired
     ^ this process goes all way the up to leadership.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire those who are truly the best candidates for jobs
    Find a way to terminate someone, other than attendance issues

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Whole Foods is not what they want you to believe.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Team Leader in Edina, MN
    Former Employee - Assistant Team Leader in Edina, MN

    I worked at Whole Foods Market full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    I loved the 20%disount in my food!

    Cons

    The scheduling and the misleading information you receive .

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work with your employees ...work beside them,teach them and listen to them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Micro manage

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Chef
    Former Employee - Chef

    I worked at Whole Foods Market full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you like food, good discounts.

    Cons

    Low pay, micro manage, don't get stuck here long term.

  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Amazing job marketing values to customers while practicing almost none themselves

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Prepared Foods Team Leader, Grocery/Seafood Team in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Associate Prepared Foods Team Leader, Grocery/Seafood Team in Denver, CO

    I worked at Whole Foods Market part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Team mates, learning about new types of food, INITIAL QUALITY of meat/seafood/produce

    Cons

    Where do I start?

    Management-
    -incompetent people put in leadership positions
    -treat team members like a number
    -lack of recognition for achievement, broad focus on failures.
    -do not lead by example
    -numbers, numbers, numbers...that is all that is ever focused on

    Company-
    -espouse core values and rarely if ever adhere to them.
    -one value is to protect the environment, I witnessed countless bags of sorted recyclable materials go into the landfill bin, rather than its recycling bin, no recourse was taken
    -know a number of people who reported unsafe working conditions who were met with a "don't Rock the boat" conversation
    -stop driving efficiency by cutting jobs and labor hours at a certain point team morale is more important than the bottom line

    Quality of products-
    -the value aspect, the new TV commercials, are a joke. Don't shop there for anything other than fresh meat, seafood or produce. Even then do so at your own risk. Know that most departments recycle perishable products towards the end of their 5-7 day life cycle. These items such as days old seafood or fruit get used to make salads or get passed on to other teams for use in their departments.
    -THE SALAD BAR...do not eat anything other than fresh vegetables or hot dishes. The random fruit or seafood/chicken salads ARE NOT MADE FRESH that day, most likely they are on day 7 of 7 in their lifecycle and are nearly spoiled.
    -don't waste you're time buying daily items like cereal, snack foods as most other stores now carry most of the same brands at a much lower price.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn to lead by example...respect is earned by working side by side with your team, rather than sitting in your office looking at a computer screen. Stop hiring incompetent store leadership!

    Make sure HR practices are followed and that employees have a safe place to talk about their issues without fear of recourse.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Not what it used to be....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Buyer/Specialist in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Buyer/Specialist in Denver, CO

    I worked at Whole Foods Market full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The discount is great, the benefits are ok. I've made many amazing friends at the whole foods.

    Cons

    The politics are ridiculous!!! I've seen so many unqualified people promoted just because they know how to play the whole foods game (butt kissing). Whole Foods tries to pass itself off as this liberal open minded company that cares about what their TMs think, but they don't want to hear about their "opportunities". They will literally let a team leader run a dept. into the ground before they admit they made a mistake in hiring them. And they don't see a red flag when 3 people in leadership positions, who have all worked for the company for over 5 years,quit within the same week. Everyone used to want to work at the Capitol Hill WFM in Denver, but now they have to beg people to apply for positions. This company is not what it used to be and this store is the worst.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to team members and DO NOT shame them for speaking up. These are the people who have the experience of working in these departments and for these team leaders on a daily basis. Their opinions matter, they are relevant, and valuable. Be able to admit that you've made mistakes. We're all human and most of the time we're not perfect.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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