Whole Foods Team Voting System

I’m a sucker for personal ownership of decisions.  I especially love the system in place at Whole Foods for new hires graduating from their trial period.

The process of selecting a new Whole Foods Market team member doesn’t end with the hiring process! During your orientation period (typically 30-90 days) you will attend orientation and training classes, and you and your team leader will discuss your progress.

If your team leader then recommends that you be considered for team membership, your fellow team members will vote on whether to add you to their team. The team vote process empowers team members to share in the building of a quality team and strengthens communication. The criteria used to vote a new member onto a team are positive job performance, adherence to policies and procedures, excellent customer service skills, and teamwork.

You can’t ask for more transparency than that, right?  Here’s how it will go, here’s who gets a say, and here’s the criteria.  Good luck.

I compare this to most organizations with which I’ve worked who don’t have much to offer by way of onboarding.  If you aren’t the self-motivated type, if might takes weeks for you to figure out what is really happening and what is expected of you.  WF solves that problem by telling you up front what they will be looking for, and who will be doing the looking.

On top of that, your team now has a vested interest in accepting new members.  Once the vote is over, they have responsibility for their decision, and the new people know they have been accepted from the beginning.  What a great way to start a new gig.

So what’s your process look like for getting new people comfortable?

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