Whole Foods Employees

Whole Foods mission statement reads: “Whole Foods Market is a dynamic leader in the quality food business. We are a mission-driven company that aims to set the standards of excellence for food retailers. Standards of excellence for food retailers. High standards in all aspects of the business. (Whole Foods Market, 2015) Whole Foods was founded in 1980 by John Mackey. Whole Foods in one the US’s leading natural and organic food markets today with over 467 stores in North America and the United Kingdom. (Whole Foods Market, 2015)

In planning for a needs assessment of Whole Food, I would be required to conduct an organizational analysis, person analysis, and a task analysis. The organizational analysis will determine “the appropriateness of training, given the company’s business strategy, its resources available for training, and support by managers and peers for training activities” (Noe, 2013, p. 114). Whole Foods Higher Purpose statement states “With great courage, integrity and love- we embrace our responsibility to co-create a world where each of us, our communities and our planet can flourish. All the while, celebrating the sheer love and joy of food.” (Whole Foods Market, 2015) When the current state of Whole Foods is determined and is then compared to their Core Values, any gap will become evident.  Training is one possible solution that can help close the gap to move the company towards living their core values (Whole Foods Market, 2015):

  • We sell the highest quality natural and organic products available
  • We satisfy, delight and nourish our customers
  • We support team member excellence and happiness
  • We create wealth through profits & growth
  • We serve and support our local and global communities
  • We practice and advance environmental stewardship
  • We create ongoing win-win partnerships with our suppliers
  • We promote the health of our stakeholders through healthy eating education

Stakeholders would be interviewed to help determine the current status of the organization and any training that could bridge that gap from representatives, customers, employees, management, community members and independent vendors. The interview would be the ideal technique for the organizational analysis so I can get more details to my questions, explore unanticipated issues and modify questions as needed. (Noe, 2013)

A person analysis will need to be conducted to help identify employees who may need training to keep current with Whole Foods policies and procedures. I would need to observe employees’ performance to indicate a need for training. I would need to review the Whole Foods employee handbook, performance plans, performance appraisal criteria, safety incidence reports, and training records. I would also use electronic questionnaires to survey managers from various locations in different regions based on the following questions:

  1. Have you ever been involved in a safety incident or a less than desired performance rating? If so, would you mind sharing what was the nature of the report?
  2. Which skills in your current position would you like to improve?
  3. What type of training would you like to learn that you think would be beneficial to your career at Whole Foods?
  4. Do you see yourself at Whole Foods over the next 3-5 years? If not, Why?

Lastly, I would perform a task analysis that would detail the work performed by each job or task assigned according to the job description for employees. I would compare the task to be performed according to a competency based orientation checklist that should accompany each position to identify need for training.

The analysis required to determine training needs for Whole Foods Market would take many hours to complete, but would be extremely beneficial for the continued growth of the company. A detailed analysis plan will be developed to include benchmarking and milestones, to keep the project moving forward with efficiency and accuracy. The overall needs assessment plan and continuous communication with the stakeholders is imperative to the successful training program implementation.


Noe, R.A. (2013). Employee training and development. (6th ed). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Whole Foods. (2015). Our Values and Mission. Retrieved from http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/careers/our-values-and-mission

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