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Why Wegmans, Publix, and Nugget continue to make the “Best Places to Work For” list 

Lakeland, FL-based Publix was recognized for upping local produce sourcing to donate to hunger agencies during the height of the pandemic.

In the 16 years I’ve been covering fresh produce and grocery retail, I’ve probably written the same article about the same retailers at least 15 times.

Wegmans BB #:104173, Publix BB #:110909, and Nugget BB #:198061 – the usual suspects – made the Fortune 100 Best Places to Work For list…again. With Target, grocery took 4 of 5 of the Top 5 in the 15 Best Large Workplaces in Retail, at No. 1 (Wegmans), No. 2 (Target), No. 3 (Nugget), and No. 5 (Publix).

Every year there are a few changes, but every year I can recall, these three receive this honor.

Why?

Well, first of all, they applied. A retailer can’t get on this list without applying. To be eligible, a company also needs at least 1,000 U.S. employees.

Fortune creates the list with “people analytics firm” Great Places to Work, which surveyed more than 500,000 employees on issues like: “How trustworthy, caring, and fair” the company is; employee health (physical, emotional, and financial); and the company’s broader community impact.

How did these companies fare during the COVID-19 pandemic?

“Seventy-one percent of winning workplaces scored better than in pre-pandemic times, increasing employees’ experiences of workplace trust an average of three percentage points,” according to Fortune.

The scores typically are determined with weighted scores given to confidential employee feedback (75 percent) and analysis of a company’s essay questions describing programs and practices (25 percent.)

Fortune altered the essay questions specifically to focus on 2020’s challenges and gave a higher weight to survey responses about how companies “stepped up to support their people and communities,” (40 percent) and employee surveys (60 percent).

Publix was recognized for some of its COVID-19 initiatives, including committing to sourcing more milk and produce locally and donating to anti-hunger groups, as well as adding mental health care to benefits, paying for employee covid treatments, and compensating workers quarantined due to exposure.

Nugget was recognized for continuing its covid incentive “hero” when many other grocers dropped it. The company also was praised for hiring outside security to handle unruly customers challenging covid mandates and restrictions so employees didn’t have to deal with confrontations.

Check out the rest of the Fortune list here.

Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.