New Seasons Market

  www.newseasonsmarket.com
  www.newseasonsmarket.com
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New Seasons Market Reviews

Updated September 12, 2014
Updated September 12, 2014
34 Reviews
3.3
34 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
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Wendy Collie
9 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Free-form yet accountable culture led to major pros, cons

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

    I worked at New Seasons Market full-time

    Pros

    I should preface all this by noting that the company culture seemed to be undergoing a major shift as I was leaving (thanks mainly to new ownership), and from what I hear this has continued over the past year.

    While I was there, the biggest advantage over similar grocery companies was that NSM treated its employees like adults. I felt trusted to understand and solve problems on my own, without a hovering supervisor or a gospel rulebook. This is possible in part because they hire great employees (it's a competitive job market full of underemployed smart people), which also makes breakroom chats and after-work drinks fun and stimulating. I also liked that I was encouraged to form relationships with customers and try to get them what they needed, as opposed to serving as many people as possible and upselling at every opportunity. Grocery work is repetitive and brainless, but these things made it as bearable as possible.

    Cons

    The looser management structure resulted in major differences between departments. Some were well-managed, with rotating schedules and time off, quick attention to any interpersonal conflicts, and involved training for those employees that wanted to move up. Others (mine) were saddled with complacent and unskilled middle managers, built-up resentments between long-term employees that let to petty conflicts, and little interest in personnel development - for them, it was simpler to let the same people work undesirable shifts and complete heavier physical work until they inevitably quit, at which point they were just replaced. Upper management never stepped in with more than a token statement.

    At the same time, attempts to address this via heavier oversight (as, again, was happening when I left) felt clumsy and overbearing. It's an incredibly difficult balance to strike, but they seemed to be sacrificing the freewheeling and casual culture that made "the friendliest store in town" more than a trite slogan, and replacing it with a rigidity that didn't even weed out the worst elements. Still, much better than a place like Safeway that wouldn't bother making an effort on any of these issues.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to innovate in how you manage company culture - the more bottom-up, the better. Ask longtime employees, not outside consultants (or just ask both!). The pay restructuring that left me with one 40-cent raise in 2 years frankly left me feeling extremely undervalued.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Changing for the Worse

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Grocery Lead  in  Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Grocery Lead in Portland, OR

    I have been working at New Seasons Market full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    it was nice having a job and the benefits were good, but its all changing

    Cons

    the company is slowly changing into a corporation that doesn't stand apart like it used to.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The employees are your bread and butter. What made the company what it was in the 2000's was the fact that the company cared very dearly for its employees as well as the community. you have lost that

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

    What the hell???

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

    I have been working at New Seasons Market full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    For the most-part, the staff is pretty awesome. The pay is decent-ish considering the work being done (we aren't construction workers after all). Blue slip program (free food that can't be sold) is pretty darn cool. Company seems to be rather lax and accepting towards everyone's individuality and appearance. Benefits are pretty good if you can afford them.

    Cons

    Oh my...here comes my question to the company as a whole: What the hell???
    The other reviews on here claiming that department managers are coming in from Starbucks, Mansanto, Haggen, etc. are one hundred percent true. And while there is NOTHING wrong with hiring qualified individuals for the positions, there IS something VERY wrong with changing your entire company structure making it so that there is absolutely no chance for growth within the company. Those days are gone. When I was hired it was still very possible for internal growth within the company, and that was rad! If you proved yourself, most likely you'd get a promotion. Now, that option won't even exist as of...October??? I believe? First it was September, but now of course it's October. And come on guys! Making your CURRENT department managers RE-APPLY FOR THEIR OWN JOBS? What the hell?
    And announcing the opening of five stores in one year is a bit much. It overwhelms employees, stresses them out (on top of the new management structure), and everyone is scrambling.
    I'm not saying that any of this was intentional to hurt anyone...but surely someone has taken a psychology class at some point in their life? And if not, I think it should be Wendy. Or everyone working in HR for that matter. Y'all need to know not only how to speak to, but how to properly interact with your employees. That's right, YOUR EMPLOYEES. WE ARE MAKING YOU MONEY. Without us, there would not be a you.
    I am not an angry employee. I have not been "burned". I have never been written up, nor reprimanded for anything of any meritt. I'm a good employee. I'm a good employee that was pushed towards becoming part of management. I just...had no desire to manage so many people that had no idea what they were doing. I feel really bad for my friends that won't have their jobs now though...
    What the hell?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    STOP BEING JERKS.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    No longer a company that values their employees. CEO is from Starbucks.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operations  in  Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Operations in Portland, OR

    I have been working at New Seasons Market full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    New Seasons has many great employees to work with at the store level. Great benefits, profit share (taxed) and 401K program. When products and Produce cannot be sold to customers, there is a "Blue Slip" program that allows you to take advantage of a lot of free food.

    Cons

    There is a HUGE separation from higher ups to the actual store level workers. The bonuses awarded to Merchandisers are in the 4 and 5 digits where the actual store level employees receive anywhere from $75 to $550 depending on years worked there and hours worked in the past quarter.
    Once a person becomes a manager, they are free to abuse their positions without any serious repercussions and are given carte blanche when handling their departments and mishandling their staff. They pay their store level employees very poorly and the wage increases are miniscule. People are not being promoted from within anymore and, instead, outside people are being brought in from very corporate environments, i.e. Starbucks and even Monsanto.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your staff better and promote from within. Begin a tuition reimbursement program. Stop cutting labor so that everyone is unhappy, stressed and spread way too thin. Central kitchen is a disaster and our food quality has deteriorated to the point that staff and customers complain. Merchandisers and Managers of certain departments are dropping like flies and there is NO transparency anymore. And start admitting that you have gone completely corporate, Wendy Collie. Just because you may have been a cheerleader in your youth does not mean you have what it takes as a leader for what once was an awesome place to work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not the company it used to be!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Department Manager  in  Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Assistant Department Manager in Portland, OR

    I have been working at New Seasons Market full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Decent pay, decent benefits. staff are great; like an extended family. staff discount. "profit share"

    Cons

    Limited advancement opportunities. upper management is growing too much, with many redundant positions. company claims "we promote from within"; not true. many of the newly-created and current management positions are filled by people hired from external sources, such as Starbucks, Haggen, etc. Company values have changed over the years. claimed that customer service is primary goal, yet stores are not staffed adequately to provide this goal. no longer a "local" company, now having acquired a chain in California. too much growth over the years. wages are not at levels comparable to other grocery retailers. if there are no unions, pay should still be commensurate with union jobs. PR about the company and how it is to work here has done a good job; the public and many staff are lulled into believing that the company believes in a local food economy and in providing a great working environment, when the true motive is $$$. have been told by food service that ingredients used in food production used to be organic when possible, now it's the cheapest available.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    quit building new stores before current stores are at maximum capacity. actually promote from within. reward employees for extended service to the company. staff according to customer service expectations. management structure within stores is changing to more work from less people, which will negatively affect customer service, while being told customer service is the reason for the change. have staff/management at store support level actually work in the stores on occasion (once a week or so), to actually see first-hand what it is like to work in the stores and provide quality customer service (which can be quite difficult and exhausting). rewind six or more years to when the company actually believed in what it claimed and quit expanding like you want to take over the world. we are not Whole Foods, nor do we want to be.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Great Work Environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Courtesy Clerk  in  Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Courtesy Clerk in Portland, OR

    I have been working at New Seasons Market part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    New Seasons really gets customer service and they staff their stores with that in mind.

    Cons

    Competition for advancement is pretty stiff, with the company growing every year and becoming more and more popular to potential employees. Sometimes employees with a great track record and a long time of service get overlooked for advancement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ensuring loyalty is awarded by advancing those who have been with the company longest and maintain the companies ideals should be a top priority.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8.  

    One Of The Best Retailers To Work For In The Industry

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Department Manager
    Current Employee - Department Manager

    I have been working at New Seasons Market full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Fair pay, good benefits, affordable health care, free food, profit sharing, 20% discount, opportunity for advancement, training opportunities, paid volunteer hours, very fair scheduling practices for a retailer, growing company, supportive of gay, lesbian and transgender staff, and overall a fun place to work.

    Cons

    Very few cons compared to other retailers. One that comes to mind is that the company is growing quickly and the culture is changing some.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't let the culture change too much.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Unprofessional

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - NONE  in  Happy Valley, OR
    Current Employee - NONE in Happy Valley, OR

    I have been working at New Seasons Market full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Ok discount, schedule is good, benefits are ok. There is room for professional growth.

    Cons

    To many staff members that think it's ok to not work and no one is held accountable for any expectations and when good managers do have expectations and try to hold people accountable they are told they don't fit the company culture.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Support your managers

    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    They treat employees wonderfully

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR

    I have been working at New Seasons Market full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great benefits, employee discount, lots of free day old food and produce culls, volunteer opportunities, working with great people

    Cons

    Some jobs pay great, others pay poorly, the wage scale is a little off. The company is getting bigger and a little top heavy, with a lot of degree holders that don't seem to have any real grocery store experience, so they are a little out of touch. We have awesome employees who could do these jobs! Hire from within! Bigger does not always make better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As we grow, labor gets decreased. We are known for our customer service, and it seems to be suffering because we are pulled in too many directions. Also, store mangers are never in the store anymore, always in meetings. Less talk, more action!

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Not what they seem

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

    I worked at New Seasons Market part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Customers are wonderful, and NSM allows you to serve them well -- freebies, chatting -- so that's fun. Training is thorough, and they usually give you enough hours, and take your preferred schedule into account. You get a great discount on food at any of the stores. It's hard in the winter because it's cold outside and inside! If you stay a while, there are internal job postings, so you could eventually become a buyer or department manager.

    Cons

    Gossip is rampant, and not even true. People who worked there a long time viewed many of the staff as backstabbers, and I'd have to agree. There's a lot of hypocrisy -- for example, NSM is a great community recycling place, but the managers don't even recycle the basics, and if you say anything, they'll tell you to volunteer on your own time. The reason they can keep opening a lot of new stores is because they pay their workers really low wages to keep their profits high. Starting wage is barely above minimum (which hasn't kept pace with the cost of living at all). You never get a consistent schedule and sometimes you don't know until a few days before, so it's hard to plan any events. NSM is a corporate chain, follows the industrial model. Strangely, from an internal perspective, the customers don't actually come first; favored employees are encouraged to gossip so much that there's a sense of institutionalized unfairness.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay fair labor prices, that's about $13 an hour. Be honest with employees. Walk your talk. Notice when honest employees work hard and serve customers, which is what you say you want. Stop raving about growth as though it's good for all of us when actually your growth is on the backs of the lowest paid employees creating customer loyalty for you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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