Diversity management: Wegmans Essay Paper


SLP Nurturing Ethical Diverse Workplace Continue reference organization chosen Module 1(Wegmans). [Reminder– factual information specific chosen SLP employer. We current, HRM-specific information applicable employer chosen.

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Diversity management: Wegmans

A diverse population of employees that reflects the demographic composition of its customers and the community the organization serves is an essential component of all retail operations. Particularly with regards to a grocery store like Wegmans, the company must be aware of the diverse preferences of customers. As a company that has long prided itself on its ‘ethnic’ offerings spanning from Lyle’s Golden Syrup (British) to Pocky (Japanese), a diverse workforce enables Wegmans to be informed of what products, shopping strategies, and other considerations affect consumers’ food buying.

Food selection often has a substantial psychological and social component — it is not simply based upon price or even taste. Thus intercultural competency as an organization is enhanced by a diverse workforce. This is not to say that employees cannot understand customers from different backgrounds than themselves, but an environment that is pluralistic will have a broader range of information and ideas from which to draw. A manager with Hispanic heritage may understand which products are difficult to find in supermarkets, and give Wegmans an edge if it can stock them. A bilingual supermarket cashier can help translate labels for a customer who speaks English only as a second language. For example, “Isabel Mayer, a training coordinator at Wegmans’ Dulles, Va., store, started as a part-time high-school student in a Rochester-area Wegmans store 15 years ago. Fluent in Spanish, she offered to help translate for some Hispanic customers who had a question at photo finishing, and eventually went on to manage that department” (Springer 2006).

According to company founder Danny Wegman, diversity is a critical component of the supermarket’s philosophy. “We define diversity as equal success and opportunity for all Wegmans people, regardless of race or gender or religion…The common ground we all share is diversity of thought. That’s what’s most important to us at Wegmans. In fact, our whole business strategy is to try to give consumers a choice they don’t have at the moment. That, almost by definition, is diversity” (Springer 2006). Wegmans as a company values the input of all its employees, and continually solicits their opinions and expertise which are based on interactions with customers. This shows a fundamental sense of respect for and a willingness to learn from all workers and also encourages workers to remain with the company and move up the corporate hierarchy.

Wegmans’ example underlines that an organization’s commitment to diversity must be more than rhetorical. It must be supported by an effective HR strategy that both recruits a diverse range of employees; orients all employees on diversity awareness; promotes and mentors employees from historically discriminated-against groups to encourage retention; and makes diversity education a part of the continuing education for all. Wegmans’ commitment to diversity extends to all levels of its organization, including young people, “including training and development programs for students and at-risk youth…all school-age employees at Wegmans can be eligible for college scholarships of up to $6,000” (Springer 2006). At most supermarket chains, employee turnover is very high, but Wegmans provides workers with an incentive to remain at the company. Additionally, because education is such a substantial part of the Wegmans’ approach, all employees are inculcated in the company’s value structure from day one of their employment, and one of those values includes diversity. “Knowledge through training and development is at the heart of the approach….Wegmans spends $1 million or more on training for each store it opens” on training alone (Springer 2006).

Wegmans’ commitment to diversity is thus a company-wide initiative, spanning every facet of the organization. Diversity on a managerial level promotes intellectual ferment and serves the business mission of Wegmans. Promoting the value of diversity and creating programs to mentor young people ensures higher-quality retail service, which is often lacking at supermarket chains. Diversity education serves everyone at Wegmans: the organization’s bottom line as well as the customers and the employees themselves. According to Danny Wegman, “we found that doing what’s right for the minority population in Rochester is also doing great for our business” (Springer 2006).


Springer, Jon. (2006). Thinking differently. Supermarket News. Retrieved:


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