Treat team members as ends and not means

I read, with great interest, the post Conscious Capitalism: Creating a New Paradigm for Business by Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey. Mackey outlines six core values embraced by the company, including one called Team Member Happiness and Excellence. WFM has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Employers for several years running. Mackey’s description offers a great deal of insight into how the company achieved this feat.

Within a complex interdependent self-evolving system, team members must also be treated as ends and not means. Their well-being and happiness must be an end in itself, not merely a means to the profits of the business.

Mackey also enumerates several strategies WFM uses to implement the Team Member value.

  • Self-managing teams operate each store
  • Open, transparent sharing of company financial information
  • Public rejection of command and control management styles in favor of a “shared fate” approach
  • Sharing of salary information throughout the company
  • Salary caps that link executive compensation to the average employee wage
  • Employee voting to determine benefits options
  • Gain-sharing incentives and compensation at all employee levels
  • Universal stock options
  • 100% health care coverage for full time workers

As a total package, these practices suggest that WFM has created a strong culture of teamwork. Read the entire post here.

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One Response to Treat team members as ends and not means

  1. Stronger Teams Blog

    I’ve read quite a few of the entries and they all show the importance and relevance of teams and teamwork to Agile Work methods….

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