2nd Best Company to Work For

Fortune Magazine’s 2017 “100 Best Companies to Work Forrated Wegmans Food Markets as the second best company to work for.

As Inc. Magazine’s article reports, Wegmans does not pay the highest wages compared to many of the other companies on Fortune’s list. However, it does have some attractive perks for tuition reimbursement and health care insurance but, in comparison to others on the best to work for list, it falls well short.

Why the high rating? Its culture and its management style receive high grades. This is true even though Wegmans has strict rules for its employees such as: the precise number of minutes for a break and the speed at which cashiers check out customers’ purchases.

Marriott International is number 33 on Fortune’s Best to Work For list. I became aware of Marriott’s rating when I was Chief Executive Officer of a distressed company in Austin Texas. The company I was managing had high hourly employee turnover. We paid minimum wage. Marriott also paid minimum wage to its hourly employees but had virtually zero turnover. I met with the hotel manager. Spent time learning how it was accomplished.

Marriott has similar reasons for being on Fortune’s list. Its culture and its management style. Heavy on employee recognition. Its support of employees and their families when they have a medical or personal issue. At the same time, Marriott also has strict performance measurements for it employees.

One minor example. A Marriott hourly laundry employee’s mother died. The hotel gave him paid time off to take care of the funeral arrangements. The hotel manager attended the funeral. The employee deeply appreciated it. He was moved to tears because the manager attended the funeral. He had thought he was a nobody at Marriott, fungible. He never forgot this gesture. He stayed with Marriott and was eventually promoted to a supervisory position.

It is not difficult to have a Wegmans’ and Marriott’s culture. It is not expensive. It pays off with higher than average profit margins and return on total capital.

Wegmans is a privately owned company. Some estimates put its operating profit margin at above 7% – higher than its largest competitors and Whole Foods.

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Chief Executive Officer

Executive Chairman

Turnarounds & Operational Restructurings

Adviser to creditors, board of directors or owners

Pre-acquisition & troubled company due diligence evaluations

Develop strategic and operating plans - including Court required plans of reorganization

Acquisition advice and negotiations

Serve as Member Board of Directors

Testify in Federal and State Court

Reason I wrote my book “Learn to Whisper”

Click on this link for a more complete description of “Learn to Whisper”

The reason I wrote “Learn to Whisper”:

My conclusion after operating as a Turnaround Chief Executive Officer for more than twenty-five years is that the majority of this country’s top management is far from first-rate. In fact top management, particularly at the chief executive officer level, is at best average with a large number that can be rated mediocre. This lack of management competence has seen this country’s market leaders lose sizeable market share to foreign manufacturers able to export better quality and lower cost products to the USA. It has seen manufacturing and service operations unnecessarily moved to foreign countries. All of which has negatively affected the economy, severely damaged former blue-chip corporations and seen quality jobs lost.

It is quite common to discover that companies struggling with this inability to compete with foreign companies have been simply mismanaged. The once successful business deteriorated because of an incompetent chief executive officer and weak senior management

Why doesn’t this nation have first-rate management? Inadequate training. Chief executive officers and vice presidents learn “on the job”. A number get promoted based on personality, political connections and drive – not merit. They are not carefully screened for the potential to become successful at managing. For some all that is needed is a well-written resume, the right interviewing style and the inability of a new employer to accurately assess skills, performance and potential.

Compare this to the process doctors go through. From medical school to internship to residency to a senior role after years of education, experience and continuous training their progress and capabilities are constantly monitored even after they become senior in the profession. Generals and Admirals go through a similar protocol. They must prove themselves in low-level assignments before they are judged qualified for senior positions. Unqualified applicants in both professions are culled out. What can be done to improve management competence? Education, on-the-job training and job performance monitoring. My book will educate people on the subject of managing. Its 101 management lessons are separated into the 17 subjects managers need to know.