- Whole Foods employees say the store's new inventory management system is punitive and has them terrified of losing their jobs, Business Insider reports.
- One unnamed supervisor told Business Insider the system is giving him or her nightmares: "The stress has created such a tense working environment. Seeing someone cry at work is becoming normal."
- Company executives say the inventory management system, known as order-to-shelf (OTS), has helped cut costs and enabled employees to spend more time with customers, according to the report. But many workers say the system has left them with less time to assist customers and that they're looking for jobs elsewhere.
Whole Foods' plan to address problems may well have been good intentioned, but a plan is only as good as its implementation. As with everything — from wellness programs to engagement initiatives — employers need to build in ways to measure effectiveness and ROI.
And a big part of that has to be employee feedback. Managers need to be empowered to listen to the people charged with carrying out a new initiative, and they should be encouraged to escalate that feedback to upper management. Managing feedback is especially important in the aftermath of a merger, and Whole Foods recently made a highly publicized deal with Amazon.
With a tight labor market, employees have options, meaning employers may have to work even harder than usual to keep them onboard.