Trader Joe's Reviews | Glassdoor

Trader Joe's Reviews

Updated April 25, 2017
106 reviews

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Trader Joe's Chairman and CEO Dan Bane
Dan Bane
79 Ratings

106 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great benefits when you're there as a full time worker (in 158 reviews)

  • An open work environment to all different types of people (in 107 reviews)

Cons
  • You can be making less than crew members, but have a ton more responsibilities (in 128 reviews)

  • It's nearly impossible to have a consistent schedule which makes it difficult for work/life balance (in 32 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "Trader Joe's is Going Downhill FAST"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Crew Member in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Crew Member in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Trader Joe's full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Casual, fun work environment (well, used to be at least).
    Met some lifelong best friends (very thankful for that).
    Flexible hours (that is, if they schedule you at all).

    Cons

    I was with Trader Joe's long enough to know what it USED to be like. Believe me, I LOVED my job for a long time. However, in recent years, Trader Joe's has demonstrated that they no longer care about their employees or the core values that they traditionally have held in high regard. "Integrity," "No Bureaucracy," "Neighborhood Grocery Store" - PFFFT, what a joke.

    Of course much of the employee experience stems from the specific management team you are currently working with, but the company as a whole has gone way downhill as far as showing appreciation for their hard-working crew. Benefits and bonuses have decreased, and the current review process is unfair and subjective (it is now an all-or-nothing system vs. the sliding scale it used to be).

    Communication between managers and feedback towards crewmembers is essentially nonexistent. Therefore, you quite likely will have no idea what might come up in your biannual review (oftentimes things that aren't even true). It also all depends on if the mate writing your review likes you or not. And of course there is no way to "prove" that any falsities in your performance reviews are untrue. Management's word against yours. It is so heartbreaking and discouraging to be told you are doing a terrible job, without having ANY indication you were doing anything wrong the entire time you had been working so hard. They have absolutely no hesitations in throwing you under the bus.

    When you try to talk with managers, they pretend to listen, but never attempt to make any actual changes. Many of them are clearly only looking out for themselves. On the same note, they have an employee satisfaction survey, but nothing ever comes of it and it is never spoken about again. I always wondered if they even bother reading them. Absolutely no accountability at any level.

    Training is a joke. You can and will be reprimanded for doing something wrong when you were never actually taught the correct way.

    Hours get cut for veteran crewmembers while they continue to hire rounds and rounds of new people. So disrespectful for people who worked for years to earn the shifts that they rely on to survive. Turnover used to be very minimal, but just continues to increase - that should really tell you something.

    They used to foster the individuality and quirkiness of their crewmembers, which was part of the whole fun Trader Joe's shopping experience. Customers loved it. But it is clearly not what they are going for anymore, as many of the "old timers" (crew AND management) have been forced out to make way for the new way of doing things. Hopefully they will be able to find hoards of painfully boring yes-men to fit the profile they are apparently looking for now. They're going to have a lot of spots to fill from all of the veteran crewmembers they've alienated and pushed out of the company. Have fun working for a bunch of spineless corporate shills.

    Favoritism and sexism also run rampant in every store I've worked in. Typical Boys Club in most stores.

    The company has changed tremendously in the last 4-5 years, and unfortunately not for the better. As they continue to expand, it is clear that Trader Joe's is becoming just like every other miserable national grocery store chain.

    This used to be a company that I could see myself working at forever, but after almost 8 years I left the company with a very unpleasant taste in my mouth. Such a shame when all I ever did was sing the highest praises of my job and the company I had been with for a large portion of my life. I took a large paycut in order to rid my life of an emotionally abusive employer and grueling physical labor, and to be honest, I'm making the same now as I was at Trader Joe's because at least I get 40 hours a week at my new job.

    Please read the other critical reviews. I promise they are not lying. There are so many others, many of whom were with the company as long as or longer than me, who have had the same experiences I have.

    Advice to Management

    Please PLEASE communicate with and care about your employees. They spend so much time and energy keeping the stores afloat, and really are the backbone of Trader Joe's. They deserve to be treated with respect and told "thank you" once in a while. The crew are the real superstars of Trader Joe's and are a major part in what sets it apart from other grocery stores. When you have unhappy crewmembers, it not only decreases productivity, but reflects poorly on the entire company.

    When an employee comes to you for feedback or with an issue, please help them. It is so terrifying to feel like everyone is against you and that there is no one you can talk to. Give feedback BEFORE review periods so crewmembers can work on improving before it becomes part of their record. Remember to give positive feedback and encouragement, instead of just telling employees what they are doing wrong, which is incredibly demotivating. You should be really be approaching crewmembers with feedback rather than forcing THEM to corner YOU. It's your job. That's what managing is. If you can't help your employees be the best they can be, then why are you in a mate position? It should really be about supporting and building up your crew, rather than promoting the cannibalistic environment so many of us have experienced in recent years.

    Give the sign artists the support they need. They have so much on their plate and are really just trying their best to help make the store look awesome, which is another thing that makes Trader Joe's, well, Trader Joe's. Don't stifle their creativity and spirit.

    And for goodness sake, just let the crewmembers wear headphones after hours. It's really not that big of a deal.


  2. "Trader Joes"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Crew Member in Miami, FL
    Current Employee - Crew Member in Miami, FL
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Trader Joe's part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Can work mornings, mid day or nights

    Cons

    Micro Manager everything we do


  3. ""Slip and fall""

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Crew Member in Scottsdale, AZ
    Current Employee - Crew Member in Scottsdale, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Trader Joe's full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Free T-Shirts, discounts on food

    Cons

    Never have an accident while working there!!! workmans comp (Trader Joe's insurance Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc) sent me to incompetent medical providers and physical therapists after my accident in the back room on the concrete. My injuries were so extensive, I was unable to care for my dog (lifting her she weighed 12 lbs) and had to euthanize her. I had to be transferred to multiple physical therapists who made my injuries worse instead of better and am now unable to stand for longer than 60 minutes (I was averaging 6 miles per shift) or lift anything more than 15 lbs. I still am unclear if I will need surgery in my hip. Meanwhile, my locker and my personal items have been thrown in the trash without contacting me. Trader Joe's never even called and asked if I wanted my things. I was in physical therapy and rehab for over 15 months...

    Advice to Management

    Don't hire incompetent young managers who have no management experience to humiliate seasoned employees (like myself) who has spent their property life in customer service. In my short time I was there, I had developed strong relationships with clients. I also won a customer service award for going above and behind for a customer; then was chastised for talking to a customer I had done research on a product for by management...
    Don't schedule employees to close and open shifts less than 12 hours apart. Don't humiliate employees in front of customers to boos your egos! We are human, treat each other with respect and kindness. I had no idea working there was a platform for employee "hazing." Train your new employees, don't put them out there then berate them because they did not have the correct information.


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  5. "Terrible, Work anywhere but here!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Crew Member in Palmdale, CA
    Former Employee - Crew Member in Palmdale, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Trader Joe's full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Small store, easy to navigate/learn.

    Cons

    Cons of working for Trader Joe's. Where do I begin? First I have been shopping at Trader Joe's since the 80's. So it goes without saying I love the products. BUT I love Trader Joe's strictly as a customer. Working for Trader Joe's is HELL!!!! SPARE YOURSELF DON'T DO IT. Management is the most disorganized, dumb people I have ever met in my life. I am not exaggerating! Management is comical. It is a complete monopoly. I worked there 4, close to 5 years. I was in line to get my promotion (finally) after years of hard work and dedication. First to arrive, last to leave, you get where I'm going. I was a model employee, yet management decides to renege on my promotion offer. Why you ask? Well management, my "Captain" as we call them is a man and decided that he would promote a girl with only 1 year experience over me. Strictly because he liked the way she look. I'm talking sexual harassment level. The "Captain" is a creep. I am a man of standards, he is not. Just goes to show you how messed up Trader Joe's is by giving this guy the highest level "in store job." Management lies to cover things up, throws you under the bus, and overall works you like a dog! Also its just not a good place to work. Hiring process is a nightmare. Seriously they act like there the FBI, get real it'a a GROCERY STORE. Why the need for so many interviews (5 in total). Just ridiculous, it happened to me and my colleagues. Just my experience with the Palmdale Trader Joe's. AGAIN love the store as a customer, but despise it as a employee. Oh well I put in my 2 weeks notice and jumped ship to a different job. My current job pays more and has normal hours so I have a wonderful work/home life balance. Thanks for listening.

    Advice to Management

    Get your priorities straight. Value the people who work for you! Promote employees with proven experience, not newbies because of looks and because they accept a lower rate of pay. It always comes down to money with any company. Trader Joe's play the role of humble small grocery store, yeah right! Wolf in sheep's clothing!

    Also cooperate should do an annual review on Captains (store managers) to evaluate their performance or lack there of.


  6. "Shady Accountability! You will not be heard!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Crew Member in Davie, FL
    Current Employee - Crew Member in Davie, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Trader Joe's full-time

    Pros

    The benefits and the pay is great. The pay is great again. The pay is great again. The benefits are also great again.

    Cons

    -Not being heard
    - Accountability is non existent with this company
    - will drop hours in order to get employees to quit
    - harassment
    - terrible management, never seen worse
    - higher ups enable sketchy behavior in order to keep poisoned environment
    - turnout getting higher
    - problems aren't solved, you are either fired or you leave
    - favoritism is rampant!
    - petty behavior
    - managers change behavior in the presence of higher up managers
    - if you think you have a friend, you dont
    - everything except pay and benefits
    - management will be nicer during the interview just to get you to work

    Advice to Management

    Don't take human resources for granted. Be a decent human being and treat people the way you would like to be treated. Do not micromanage employees. It may be all fun and games until you lose your job for not promoting what the company is actually trying to promote. Do away with the "better than everyone" mentality. Human Resources is only there to make sure they dont get sued. A good manager explains, a bad manager only tells you what to do.


  7. "veteran employees are on the chopping block"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Crew in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Crew in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Trader Joe's part-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    A job that does not require you to be a rocket scientist.

    Cons

    If you just start or are between the new to five year mark, great. no issues. If you have many years with the company, you are going to be forced out. You will have a hostile work environment due to management targeting you to leave or fire you for not smiling enough or smiling too much. There is so much nepotism and favoritism in the company that it is borderline discrimination.

    Advice to Management

    Go back to what was the core values. Corporate and management need to understand what integrity means. Integrity is not looking good just to make more money. Integrity is not kissing up to management for benefits. Integrity is not to stab individuals in the back to save your own job or climb up the corporate ladder. Integrity is not to favor one race because that is the race you are.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Lousy experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Crew Member in Westfield, NJ
    Former Employee - Crew Member in Westfield, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Trader Joe's part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    10% discount on groceries.

    Cons

    Tj hired me as a temp right before the holidays. Sure, they pay more than most manual labor jobs ($13) but you are doing $20 an hour work for it. Your shifts and days of the week are constantly changing and can range from 5am to 12 am (although they do ask for some parameters from you in the beginning) and definitely weekends.
         You empty the shopping carts, bag up the items and lift all the bags back into the carts. That alone is different than any other supermarket. But, in addition, you also have to stock the shelves (which can entail lifting really heavy boxes) at a pretty fast pace and go out in all types of weather to gather shopping carts. It is A LOT. You do all of this every day as you are constantly moving every hour or two to a different area .
         There are about 5 ‘mates’ with the Hawaiian shirts on any one shift with about 20-30 ‘crew’. So, the ratio is about 1/5: almost like day care (apt analogy). So, as you move from place to place, a mate is there to check you in and basically watch you. And, they have a lot to say to pick at your performance. So, if you like a job with absolutely no independence and love being micro-managed, this is the place for you.
         And, did I mention medical? Their website alludes to the fact you can get medical while only working 28 hrs/ wk. I was clear to mention at my interview that I would like to qualify. Thinking back, I should have known that that was a pipe dream as no one even acknowledged that that was a possibility. It would be easy to attain during the holidays (before you are eligible) when I was scheduled for 38 hrs/wk. However, after the holiday rush, I am sure that is why I was let go while they retained most of the other seasonals, none of whom wanted medical coverage. Why pay out for medical when they can keep a high school kid?
         So, don’t believe all their California, kaisen, touchy-feely nonsense. That only has to do with how you treat the customers, not how they treat employees. They are a corporation, just like FedEX, and watch their bottom line just as ruthlessly. Am I bitter, you bet. I quit another job hoping to get medical, worked like a dog and their reason for not retaining me was ‘we are going in a different direction’. Even when I asked for clarification, they repeated that phrase, which doesn’t even seem to apply in this situation. So even though glassdoor says it is a great place to work, I didn’t drink the kool-aid and am offering a more realistic perspective.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest about offering medical if that really isn't your intent. And, don't leave holiday employees hanging for weeks not knowing if they are being hired or not.


  9. "poor and creepy management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Crew Member in Orlando, FL
    Current Employee - Crew Member in Orlando, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Trader Joe's full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    none any more. im only staying because of the wage and benefits. this company is going downhill.

    Cons

    management is creepy and not qualified to run a store. i was transfered from the winterpark store but some managers also came to the new store with everyone. one of them thinks everyones his friend and is kind of awkward with the young girls that work under him. they keep hiring young girls lately. gives me the creeps!!

    Advice to Management

    hire new management. stop playing favorites. stop hiring crew with poor work ethics. start everyone with the same wage. tj's is getting a bad reputation lately


  10. "Control Center Lead"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Minooka, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Minooka, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Trader Joe's full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    To pay bill my bills and eat.

    Cons

    Treat employees horrible. Very unprofessional


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Doesn't Care About Employees"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Princeton, NJ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Princeton, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Trader Joe's full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work is simple, easy, and customers are usually happy.

    Cons

    They care more about pointless corporate guidelines and less about common sense.

    Advice to Management

    Promote people who deserve it.


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