Trader Joe's

  www.traderjoes.com
  www.traderjoes.com
There are newer employer reviews for Trader Joe's

 

Working at Trader Joe's is enjoyable.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Crew Member in Fairfax, VA
Current Employee - Crew Member in Fairfax, VA

I have been working at Trader Joe's

Pros

The crew you normally work with: morning / mid-shift / night tend to form a good bond of friendship. The entire crew gets along fairly well, but you do make tighter friends with the people you work with more often. The breaks you normally get during the day help keep you refreshed to work your heart out on the floor. Most problems can be solved by just talking to someone at the store. I've never had to call HR or any senior member for a problem at the store level. The flyer tastings + store tastings are always nice not only for your own self, but hearing other employees feel about the same product.

Cons

Once you're assigned a certain part of the store you stay there. You may get mixed up every once in a while, but once you express interest in one area of the store... it becomes your "thing." Sometimes full-timers will have clear differences on how a job should be done and it creates confusion. Some order writers aren't as efficient as others and it creates problems eventually for the customers, which in turn causes problems for the employees.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

I think management has improved a lot since I've started working as a new higher (as far as communication.) I like all the management in general and think they do a great job. I do think full timers do get a bit too much grief if a part timer is the root of the problem. I know it's the full timer's job to make sure everyone is doing what they're supposed to, but they can't baby all the employees. Employees need to be self sufficient and it's their job to communicate with the full timers as well.

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702 Other Employee Reviews for Trader Joe's (View Most Recent)

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    They are good because they are not that bad.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Crew Member in West Hills, CA
    Former Employee - Crew Member in West Hills, CA

    I worked at Trader Joe's

    Pros

    One of the best ground level management styles you will find in retail. Kaizen people.
    Most employee are treated better than they realize here. Trader Joe's caps out their part timers at (when I was there) almost $18.60/hour with regular cost of living increases (wow!). The majority of the work is bagging groceries, stocking shelves, and cashier duties -- for almost $20 an hour people when you take benefits into account!!!

    That's better than managers in a lot of places. Not gonna find that anywhere else even in a good economy. Good health care kicks in if you work over 25 hours a week and they were extraordinarily flexible on scheduling. If you stick around, they appear to take care of you. You get what amounts to a .50-.90 cents raise every six months, all you gotta do is kiss a little butt and always say yes to whatever they ask you to do. "Clean the bathroom? No problem, where is the toothbrush."

    There is a reason they have so many people that never leave, there is nothing better out there.

    Cons

    Some employees believe that they are entitled to be less than the best because they have been there for years. Again, I was working at 10/hr next to people who were giving a fraction of the effort and customer service and they were making nearly double. This is retail people, the next customer might be your last. The smile-- not really an option-- the attitude-- not too much flexibility. You have to be nice and you have to be friendly or you are in the wrong business. So many LT employees just sucked at talking normal to customers. They never fired anybody for anything less than the most egregious of offenses however, if you had a personality problem (and everyone knew who they were) then they put you in the back or in the box (refrigerated section).

     Lots of whiny overcompensated part timers and there were more than a few whiny full timers. Try and take that attitude somewhere else and see what happens.

    Apparently the full timers were unhappy that many new management recruits were from outside of the company. I was a part timer so I was not effected directly.

    A lot of entitlement issues for the folks here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Check your full-timers and be more honest about their career paths at the company. A lot of my direct managers felt as if they were being overlooked although it was obvious they were banking on their time at TJs as the sole reason to be promoted. You need to be honest with them and tell them that they need to go to business school or that they seriously lack a core competence that you are looking for. One full timer was in training for almost 3 years!! Either the program is not fine tuned enough or the employee should not have even been involved.

    If the company is not expanding stop increasing the ranks of those who want to be full timers and tell everybody to stop falling all over themselves for jobs that do not exist. Announce a freeze. Be honest. Otherwise you will see what I did, more than enough bitter managers to make working there seem like you are in a constant anger management meeting.

    Don't hang management and advancement potential in everyone's face as a means to avert possible unionization attempts. Everyone ends up thinking they deserve more and resentment goes straight down to the floor level employees. Sometimes I felt like a therapist listening to so many irked part/ almost full timers. I'm making assumptions about the first part but you get the point.

    Also, if you notice that a recent hire is rocking the floor. Figure out a way to make them stay. I can not tell you what it feels like to be sweaty, exhausted, and dirty after smiling for 7.5 hours at a time and doing a great job overall (and being verbally recognized for it) and then watching a fellow employee limp through the day doing as little as possible knowing they have outlasted every manager in the place three times over. And guess what, they are making almost $19/hr?

    There is nothing that says you can not decrease pay for poor performance. It would definitely make the good employees feel like there is justice in the world. Also, that pay decrease could be diverted to pay those employees who are doing a good job in the moment. The idea that it would have taken six to seven years to cap out felt ridiculous when I was willing (and was being told in my reviews) that I was going above and beyond expectations. Back it up with cash, now. Words do not feed anybody.

    Otherwise, implementing Kaizen is awesome, limited bureaucracy, fantastic, never seen a happier senior management. Do not forget the island paradise stuff. It's really nice and is beginning to get diluted. Also, going corporate does not mean going brain dead. It is possible to be the TJs of 20 years ago while maintaining corporate efficiency.

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  2.  

    For the most part, a good place to be

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Crew Member in Centreville, VA
    Current Employee - Crew Member in Centreville, VA

    I have been working at Trader Joe's

    Pros

    -Small store = less product to worry about
    -Lots of food to eat
    -Some neat odd jobs I get to perform
    -Always something to do
    -Customers are generally easy to work with
    -Close feeling with crew

    Cons

    -Full-timers, in the sense that you have multiple, different personalities and management styles on any given day, or at any random time. Every day you have a different manager with a different style of leadership (if you can call it that with some full timers). It can get very annoying at times. Plus, the full timers you really enjoy working with, usually get transferred out at any time.

    -Pay, is reasonable, not the greatest. I have seen better from other stores like Wegmans, Harris Teeter, and Costco.

    -Schedules, unless you have been there for 5+ years, or you have some sort of "Seniority" over others, you will never have any sort of set schedule. You can work 3pm-12am one day, then turn around and work a 9am-2pm shift the next day. The next week, you will work all mornings (5am-1:30pm) and then work all midnights (3pm-12am) the following week. Bottom line, it is difficult to keep up a steady sleep cycle, or attempt to live some of your life without taking days off, but I guess this is just another day in the life of retail.

    -Stores have generally small floor plans i.e. Tiny backrooms and loading docks, if you have one. During holiday seasons, it gets downright busy and very crowded, not to mention the back-stock that is just stacking up in the back, making everything a chore to do in the back room.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work more on your full timers. I mean really make them into management material, possibly narrow the number of full timers down per store, we do not need 7 different managers. Get involved with crew more, give feedback to employees who want to hear it.

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