Retailers stand out on Fortune’s ‘100 Best Workplaces for Millennials’ list

Discussion
Source: Sheetz video
Jun 30, 2016

It turns out that a good employer is just that, no matter the age of its employees. A new Fortune list of the best employers for Millennials, at least from a retailer perspective, includes many of the same companies that are regularly mentioned in other less age-specific rankings.

Build-A-Bear, CarMax, Etsy, Nordstrom, Nugget Market, Publix, QuikTrip, REI, RevZilla, Sheetz, Wegmans and Whole Foods were among the 100 companies to make the Fortune list.

Common themes of scheduling flexibility, respecting the opinions of younger workers, and providing paths to advancement stand out among all the retailers identified by the magazine. One young worker spoke of Wegmans allowing them to move between their home store during summer recess and another (two hours away) when they went back to school.

Many of the individual company profiles also include quotes from workers discussing the high expectations their employers have of them. With Millennials, as with others, it may turn out that the adage, “You get what you expect,” is true.

“They expect 110 percent from us, but in return give 110 percent back to us,” an employee of RevZilla, a motorcycle gear e-tailer that was ranked tenth on the overall list, told Fortune.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think the low expectations held by older managers may have something to do with the perceived shortcomings of Millennial workers? What are the keys to having employees who are both happy and productive if you are running a retail business?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"These innovators truly exemplify how traditional obstacles, including legacy management styles and cultures can be effectively overcome."
"The retail industry can proudly point to the fact that more than 60 percent of workers’ first jobs were in the retail industry."
"Research demonstrates that Millennials are special, confident, sheltered, team-oriented, achieving, pressured and conventional."

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9 Comments on "Retailers stand out on Fortune’s ‘100 Best Workplaces for Millennials’ list"


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Ralph Jacobson
Guest

It is always encouraging to see retailers on this list. Our industry does get a bad reputation for quality of life for our staff. These innovators truly exemplify how traditional obstacles, including legacy management styles and cultures can be effectively overcome to produce a thriving work environment. Some of the keys to this success are a culture of inclusion so all of the staff feel a sense of responsibility and “family” as a team. There needs to be a recognition program that is sincerely valued by the staff, too.

George Anderson
Staff

To build on Ralph’s point, there’s an adage that people don’t quit companies, they quit bosses. When you do a deeper dive on the Fortune surveys, you find 97% of Wegmans workers and 99% of RevZilla employees said they have “great bosses.”

Roger Saunders
Guest
Multiple retailers deserve to be on the Fortune “100 Best Workplaces for Millennials” list. Millennials, being the newest members of the workforce, found their first jobs in retail establishments. The retail industry can proudly point to the fact that more than 60 percent of workers’ first jobs were in the retail industry. Walk the stores of a few of the retailers who are recognized — Publix, Wegmans and Nordstrom — and you’ll find not only the Millennial generation represented (18- to 34-year-olds), but also a good number of 16- and 17-year-olds who are still embracing work ethic as a key aspect of their lives. The consumer will speak on behalf of these employees. The Prosper Monthly Consumer Survey asks respondents the reasons that they choose to shop a particular retailer MOST often. In the grocery field, 32 different reasons are offered. In terms of the human interactions listed, Publix and Wegmans stand out among their peers. Service is mentioned by 54.7 percent of Publix shoppers, while 54.8 percent of Wegmans shoppers score the New York-based… Read more »
David Livingston
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Retailing is not a glamorous business. Doesn’t pay well unless you are a manager. Even then the stress can be overwhelming. Despite all that there are some great companies to work for. I wish I had known about them in college 35 years ago. No regrets, I got to work for some great retailers and was paid very well. But still I wish I had known about Publix, Wegmans, H-E-B, HyVee and all the other great ones. I don’t think the issue is managers’ perceived shortcomings of Millennials but rather Millennials perceived shortcomings of retailers. They need to search, seek out and research all these great retailers out there. When I was getting out of college Kmart and Woolworth were heaving into recruiting. I lived in a bubble so I only knew about the big boring retailers. If I had been aware that H-E-B (and those similar) existed, I’d be banging on their door, offering to work for free and prove my worth.

Gajendra Ratnavel
Guest

Hiring and keeping talent is just as important as, if not more important than, attracting and closing big deals. This list is a great showcase and encouragement to all employers. What would be really helpful and push other companies towards better management of their staff is a comparison between growth and employee happiness and net revenue and employee happiness. I am sure the companies on this list are all doing very well and if they weren’t and still focused on their employees, that’s an exceptional business. Because as one of the employees said, you get what you give.

Richard J. George, Ph.D.
BrainTrust

Millennials represent the most sought after customers and now employees of the future. Research demonstrates that Millennials are special, confident, sheltered, team-oriented, achieving, pressured and conventional. Within these attributes, employers can draw on many of the positive employee traits, namely, confident, team-oriented and achieving. Offering positions with defined career paths that emphasize these characteristics will go a long way to engaging productive and engaged employees.

Martin Mehalchin
Guest
Martin Mehalchin
Managing Director, Retail and Consumer, PK
5 years 6 months ago

There are very few industries where you can have the chance to run a $50 – $100 million business before the age of 30. Store managers of big box doors or brand flagships get to do exactly that. For millennials looking for that kind of early responsibility, retail can be a great choice.

Ed Rosenbaum
Guest

George added the point “people don’t quit companies, they quit bosses” brings us to the reality that we have to do better training bosses so they can do better cultivating and training our younger and next generation of leaders. I am always impressed when I go in a Publix or Whole Foods and see the younger employees walking around smiling; and the interaction between them and their managers.

Dan Raftery
Guest

Fortune has created a wonderful performance benchmark for company leaders. And since any type of company can make the list, it offers a scorecard for US business of all stripes. Attitude starts at the top, so it’s a bit prejudicial to focus on front line manager attitudes solely. Sure they need to implement policy, but they don’t set it.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"These innovators truly exemplify how traditional obstacles, including legacy management styles and cultures can be effectively overcome."
"The retail industry can proudly point to the fact that more than 60 percent of workers’ first jobs were in the retail industry."
"Research demonstrates that Millennials are special, confident, sheltered, team-oriented, achieving, pressured and conventional."

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