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Wegmans Food Markets, Nugget Markets, Whole Foods Market, Publix Super Markets and Mars Inc. are among a select group of food industry leaders recognized on Fortune’s 2015 “100 Best Companies to Work For" list, all of which demonstrate high levels of trust between employees and management.
"It is no coincidence that the 100 best workplaces are also extremely profitable and successful companies," explained China Gorman, CEO of the San Franciso-based Great Place to Work Institute. "Research by our firm definitively showcases that the best places to work outperform their competitors," said Gorman, adding that there's "an absolute ROI when companies invest in creating a high-trust workplace culture."
Adding further color to this year's winners are remarks from Fortune's editors, who said: "As we read through thousands of employee comments and survey results, we noticed three trends. First, the best workplaces are getting better. Second: The best employers are better because more business leaders are focused on workplace culture as a competitive tool. Third: Each of the 100 Best Companies has leaders who genuinely listen to their employees and craft distinctive policies and programs that suit today’s workforce."
At the head of this year's retail food pack is Wegmans, which placed at #7 and which marks the 18th year in a row that the family-owned supermarket chain has appeared on the Best Companies to Work For list. As one of only 12 companies that have made the list since its inception in 1998, CEO Danny Wegman noted that while he's "said it many times…it bears repeating. Our employees make Wegmans a place where customers feel happy and cared about, and my job is to make sure our employees feel that way, too."
Ringing in at #26 on the 100 Best Companies to Work For leaderboard, Nugget Markets once again nabbed a spot and marked a 10-year milestone with this year's recognition.
Fourth-generation Nugget Market CEO and President Eric Stille credits the company’s success to the positive energy and commitment to quality that’s exhibited by every associate on a daily basis. “Our company’s success is fueled by every associate’s passion and commitment to providing outstanding guest service and quality products.
"Together with my family and leadership team," continued Stille, "I thank every associate and leader within the company for creating a dynamic, family-friendly work environment that supports the health and well-being of every associate's professional and personal life. Encouraging our extended family to enjoy their time at work naturally creates a win-win for everyone; associates and guests alike.”
For the 18th consecutive year, Publix Super Markets is also among the 100 Best Companies to Work For honorees. Ranked #81 on this year’s list, Publix joins Wegmans as one of the 12 companies to have made the list every year.
“As we celebrate a company milestone this year, I’m proud to reflect on our commitment to our people, culture and communities over the past 85 years,” said Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw. “We are humbled to be recognized by Fortune for 18 consecutive years as a great place to work. The secret to our success is our associates – company owners themselves – who’ve been making Publix a great place to work for 85 years.”
At #80, General Mills is also a repeat-winner, having made the prestigious list 12 times. “Having the right talent in the right place at the right time is among the greatest competitive advantages any company can have," said Jacqueline Williams-Roll, SVP of global human resources. "At General Mills, we recognize that our company and our brands win when our employees are at their best – engaged and energized."
Whole Foods Market placed at #55, while McLean, Va.-based Mars Inc., claimed the 85th spot on the Best Companies hit parade. A finalist on the prestigious list for the third consecutive year, Mars was recognized for its extensive learning and development training, community engagement and health & wellness programs, among others.
“We are honored that our associates have once again enabled us to be part of this annual ranking. The quality of our team and their commitment to doing their best every day, whether that is at work or as part of their community, brings us great pride,” said Grant F. Reid, office of the president, Mars Inc. “Our goal is to create a working environment that attracts, retains and engages great talent that will help us deliver growth we are proud of as a business.”
The process for making the Fortune list is widely recognized for its ability to discover the inner workings of the work place, as compiled through a series of employee surveys. Two-thirds of a company’s score is based on the results of the survey, which asks questions related to associates’ attitudes about management's credibility, job satisfaction and camaraderie. The other third is based on responses to the Great Place to Work Institute’s Culture Audit, which includes questions about pay and benefit programs, hiring practices, methods of internal communication, training, recognition programs, social responsibility and diversity efforts.
This year's 100 Best Companies to Work For list includes 14 different industries represented along with more than 250,000 employees. More information about the survey methodology can be found here.