For this initial blog post, I tried to look at a range of industries that I have experience in. I have previous experience as an HR assistant and front end hiring manager for a small cooperative grocery store, and so I wanted to look at Wegman’s as they have a similar business model, just on a much larger scale. As with the grocery store I worked at, employee satisfaction derives from the satisfaction of working with people and helping community, which can be an extremely strong continuance incentive. Grocery, as an industry, tends to be very diverse both on surface and deeper levels, and that requires HR staff who both understand where people from very different departments are coming from, while keeping up with the unpredictability that makes scheduling and hiring within grocery so difficult. REI, as a retail company, faces similar challenges, and like my former company, is board run. Having a board driven ownership model is very different from a corporate structure, and understanding why employees would prefer one over the other is extremely important for both retention and promotion. I noticed that for Wegmans, flexibility is quite small and benefits don’t show up at all, whereas Navy Federal Credit Union puts benefits their top priority. This speaks to the flexibility required of managers, who must balance many employee desires against the needs of the company.
I spent ten years working in grocery, and I avoided going into management for as long as I could; I eventually got hurt throwing freight and had to be promoted. My company was so small that we didn’t actually have an HR department for my first three years there, and trying to adapt to changes in our company culture as a result of growth was really difficult. I do think I was a good manager, who really cared about both my company and my staff and tried to remain flexible with a focus on our culture and human needs over profits. For this reason, I know I will always work in nonprofits, and grant writing will be an incredibly important aspect of any managerial role I take on.