Whole Foods’ new inventory management system aimed at improving efficiency and cutting down on waste is taking a toll on employees, who say the system’s stringent procedures and graded “scorecards” have crushed morale and led to widespread food shortages, reports Business Insider.
The new system, called order-to-shelf, or OTS, “has a strict set of procedures for purchasing, displaying, and storing products on store shelves and in back rooms. To make sure stores comply, Whole Foods relies on “scorecards” that evaluate everything from the accuracy of signage to the proper recording of theft, or “shrink.”
Some employees, who walk through stores with managers to ensure compliance, describe the system as onerous and stress-inducing. Conversations with 27 current and recently departed Whole Foods workers, including cashiers and corporate employees — some of whom have been with the company for nearly two decades — say the system is seen by many as punitive. –BI
Terrified employees report constant fear over losing their jobs over the OTS “scorecards,” which anything below 89.9% can qualify as a failing score – resulting in possible firings.
‘Seeing someone cry at work is becoming normal’: Employees say@WholeFoods uses “scorecards” to punish employees for failing to comply with its inventory management system https://t.co/AqpEaKPcbC pic.twitter.com/m16jHKznnW
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) February 1, 2018
Store managers test employees twice weekly, according to company documents, while corporate employees from the store’s Austin, Texas headquarters conduct monthly walkthroughs which stores must themselves pass.
“I wake up in the middle of the night from nightmares about maps and inventory, and when regional leadership is going to come in and see one thing wrong, and fail the team,” a supervisor at a West Coast Whole Foods told Business Insider. “The stress has created such a tense working environment. Seeing someone cry at work is becoming normal.”
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