Integrity is Key; Organizational Culture at Trader Joe’s

The values, attitudes and expectations of working for Trader Joe’s are perhaps the most central to way that Trader Joe’s employees come off as caring and kind. Integrity is a core value that the company upholds as necessary for not only crew members but also assumed of the customers that shop at our stores. I spoke about the importance of the family dynamic that employees have with each other, as really helping improve the work environment of everyone in the store, and that can be said for the organizational culture of Trader Joe’s. There is certainly an outline for the way everything is done, as things are unloaded, stored, and stocked. However, there is again an ability for employees to ask for help from other employees, with no worry or fear of being scolded for not knowing how to do said task.

People interact with each other both formally and informally, as it depends on their relationship. For example, there are many different people that work at Trader Joe’s meaning that the age varies from 17 to 60, and everywhere in between. Therefore in my case, I have a few work friends closer to my age that I can certainly joke around with, but there are also older employees that I am friendly with that I view more as mentors, and teacher-like figures. It is clear though that there is a level of compassion that everyone has towards each other, and one learns this through simply observing. The other day, the breakroom was decorated with graduation themed tablecloths, and banners, with cakes and different drinks. An employee who is also a mother, was taking pictures of the employees who had graduated high school or college this year. This was meant to celebrate those employees for their hard work and dedication, even during these wild times of COVID. Witnessing moments like these, where there is genuine care for others, in little gestures such as teaching one how to properly cut down a box to go back in the freezer, or something more grand like decorating the breakroom, shows the way that the organizational culture is based in creating a community. This allows for there to be such a positive culture in the store, which is a definite strength. A possible weakness is the fact that sometimes individuals just simply do not get along, or tensions may run high in a stressful situation. In those cases I do not think that is necessarily the fault of the culture, and instead the downside of having an organizational culture that is so relationship based. However, I do think the ways that these problems have been handled with meditative techniques and an understanding that stress is a normal part of a job that relies on Customer Service, allows the positives to outweigh the negatives.

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