A leaked Whole Foods memo from CEO John Mackey reveals some of employees' biggest concerns from a survey with 68,000 responses
- Whole Foods CEO John Mackey sent an email memo on Monday summarizing the findings of an internal employee survey with 68,000 responses.
- "This year, a recurring theme was how the amount and frequency of changes in our stores were impacting our day-to-day work," Mackey wrote, according to a copy of the memo that Business Insider reviewed.
- Employees of the Amazon-owned grocer also expressed a "strong desire" for better communication, he said.
- Overall, the survey found that "The vast majority of our team members feel connected to their work, passionate about our purpose and core values, and confident about the direction of Whole Foods Market," Mackey wrote.
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Whole Foods employees are concerned about the pace of change in stores and have a "strong desire" for better communication, but overall feel confident about the direction of the Amazon-owned company, according to an email memo from CEO John Mackey.
Mackey's memo, which was sent Monday to Whole Foods employees, summarized the findings of an internal employee survey called "Culture Compass." Mackey said 68,000 workers, or roughly 75% of the company, took part in the survey and provided more than 134,000 comments.
"This year, a recurring theme was how the amount and frequency of changes in our stores were impacting our day-to-day work," Mackey wrote, according to a copy of the memo that was reviewed by Business Insider. "While change is something that we as a team must embrace to compete in the ever-evolving grocery retail space and meet the dynamic needs of our customers, our leaders are focused on implementing new processes and tools to help us balance the pace of change with current resources."
Mackey highlighted employee feedback on internal communications, as well, saying "there are areas where we excel and areas where more work is needed."
"There's also a strong desire for us to better communicate about key initiatives and decisions, and how they create win-wins for our stakeholders," he said. "You'll be seeing more of me and our leadership speaking about this on Innerview in the near future." (Innerview is an app the company uses to communicate with workers).
Mackey said there's also a "strong desire for communication to flow both ways."
He said the company has developed a weekly survey called "Culture Compass: Weekly Beat" to allow employees to provide feedback on a more frequent basis.
Employees are 'confident about the direct of Whole Foods'
Overall, the survey found that "The vast majority of our team members feel connected to their work, passionate about our purpose and core values, and confident about the direction of Whole Foods Market," Mackey wrote.
Employees requested more on-the-job training and leadership development opportunities, and Mackey said "work is underway on exciting new programs to support those areas."
He also said many people acknowledged improvements that the company has made to its inventory management system, called order-to-shelf, or OTS, in response to last year's employee survey.
Mackey cofounded Whole Foods in 1980 and has remained CEO since the grocer was acquired by Amazon two years ago in a $13.7 billion deal.
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