Sunday, January 29, 2012


When Wegmans Food Markets has to eliminate a position, they make sure they find the displaced employee another job that they will be passionate about within the company. When their Britton Rd. store in Rochester, N.Y. closed last summer, they offered all of the store's employees a job at another location in the same city.

Within two weeks, all 250 employees from the Britton Rd. store knew exactly what they were going to be doing. "When it comes down to it, we are in the people business, but we just happen to sell groceries," says Kevin Stickles, vice president of store operations and human resources.

The Container Store

his retail chain did everything it could to cut costs, including using less expensive toilet paper throughout the company, to ensure that they didn't have to lay off a single employee. "If you put your employees first, they will truly take the best care of their customer," says Kip Tindell, CEO of The Container store.

Tindell talked to every one of his employees in the country during the company's monthly conference call to let them know that they would not be laid off. "When you don't have a tremendously nervous employee, they will perform better," says Tindell.

When assessing the company's budget, the executive team realized they didn't need two people working in employee travel services, so they moved one of those staffers back to a store position (that employee has stuck with the store, but they've since added staff to the travel department). "Even though our sales have bumped back, a lot of the expenses we were able to reduce have stayed off [the balance sheet]," says Tindel.

Nugget Market

In 85 years of business, this family-owned grocery store chain has never had a layoff. By slowing down its hiring, the company been able to increase hours for current part-time associates who want to work more hours to compensate for an employee who leaves a position, and younger workers who leave for college often come back to work during the holiday season and summer breaks.

Nugget Market says they actively promote from within, and when they do hire from the outside, it is typically to fill an entry-level position.

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