Labor Day Matters – Lesson from Trader Joe’s on Employee Engagement

Every time I go to Trader Joe’s, its journey of discovery. You will always find an assortment of new products and new twists on popular grocery items. There is never a dull moment in the store. And to cap it all, the customer service at the store is casual yet prompt and I always feel as If I am talking to somebody that is really interested in finding my jar of kiwi marmalade (BTW, I don’t think they actually carry this product). And most importantly, because Trader Joe’s is no bigger than an average garage at an American home (OK, it’s bigger than that), I can always find someone to help me.

I somehow think Trader Joe’s is deliberately small in size to promote serendipitous encounters with store employees! The bottom line is simple – engaged store employees (and great products) is directly connected to customer experience and sales. I jumped to this conclusion based on a simple analysis of my wallet share when it comes to grocery. Formal research on the correlation of employee engagement with performance is of course available. Check out this widely cited MacLeod Report on employee engagement here.

Labor Day presents organizations an opportunity to pause and questions whether they are actually providing meaningful opportunities to keep employees engaged and promote a culture of autonomy, mastery through learning, and higher purpose. Trader Joe’s and many other chains do an excellent job in keeping their employees engaged and we should all take a leaf out of this approach.

Srinivas Krishnaswamy


I love to read and share thoughts on technology, enterprise learning, mobile and any thing cool that impacts enterprises.

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Posted in Training

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