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What Trader Joe’s Is Getting Right About Employee Benefits

What Trader Joe’s is Getting Right About Employee Benefits

Aside from its affordable organic milk and yummy snacks, and not to mention its popular $2 Buck Chuck wine, Trader Joe’s is a grocery store chain that has been gaining traction for its excellent employee-centered management. The structure of the workplace is designed to promote the health and well-being of its employees and not just its customers. Trader Joe’s is truly getting it right about employee benefits. Here’s why:

Employees Enjoy Perks and Fair Pay

Hourly workers (who they call “Crew Members”) at Trader Joe’s enjoy fair pay, plus vacation time, health benefits, and a retirement plan. It’s hard to beat perks like this:

  • The company contributes 10% of eligible employees’ annual salaries to a retirement plan.
  • The opportunity to save pre-tax dollars for retirement.
  • Medical, dental and vision plans for as low as $75/month plus a prescription medication program.
  • Paid time off that increases over time (plus that money is the employee’s to keep).
  • Free gym memberships.
  • An employee assistance program that includes personal counseling, legal and financial counseling, and mental health resources.

Not bad at all for a grocery store! Did we mention that the starting salary is more or less $13 an hour? Although this may be somewhat lower than the $15 hourly rate sought by most people in the labor movement, it still remains a surprisingly competitive wage for a retail store.

Employees Control Work Performance

Employees are allowed to exercise a fair sense of control regarding how they want to do or perform work. They are treated as human beings with individual preferences and not merely like robots that are programmed to behave in a strictly uniform manner. The Trader Joe’s environment is as much designed for the shopping comfort and convenience of its customers as it is for the health and quality of life of its employees.

This is why when you go to your local Trader Joe’s you may notice that the cashier, assistants and the rest of the staff there generally appear to be happier, more engaging and friendlier in their performance of duties. This stress-free atmosphere is significantly projected to the customers, giving them a better and more relaxed shopping experience.

Flexible Work Schedules

Flexible work structures play a huge role in maximizing the convenience, comfort, security, and quality of life of Trader Joe’s workers. Thus, single moms, working students or anyone else who has to manage limited schedules are given the option to choose how many hours to work a week. This transparency and flexibility allow workers to work fewer hours or perhaps add more, depending on what their personal schedules allow. Plus they know at least two weeks in advance what their schedules will be so they can plan accordingly.

Cross-Training is Expected

Trader Joe’s workers who get paid on an hourly basis are cross-trained to perform different jobs on any given work shift. This set-up somehow breaks the monotony of doing the same thing day in and day out, ultimately keeping employees interested in their jobs. Some might argue that this is the key to a happier workforce–and Trader Joe’s is getting it right.


It appears Trader Joe’s is going beyond promoting wellness in the workplace: they truly want their employees to be healthier and happier, so they provide an environment where they enjoy above average retail wages, health benefits, and more control over their work performance and their schedules. Ultimately, Trader Joe’s succeeds at keeping both customers and employees satisfied on either of the shopping experience. And isn’t that what every business should want?

If Trader Joe’s can provide these kinds of opportunities for their employees, what’s keeping you from doing the same? Contact Sunflower Benefits Group today to find out how providing competitive employee benefits is more affordable than you could have imagined.

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