Natural Foods Merchandiser
Natural FOods Merchandiser Retailer Roundtable

Retailer Roundtable: How do you show appreciation to your employees?

Four natural products retailers share their insights on showing appreciation to employees.

Adina Roe
Human resources director at Good Food Store in Missoula, Mont.

We reward employees with gift certificates to local businesses for jobs especially well done, raffle off concert and sporting event tickets, and post handwritten “kudos” notes on staff bulletin boards. All employees receive a $100 gift card and free massages and pizza at Thanksgiving, as well as holiday pay when our store is closed on the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Diane Najjar
Owner of Cream of the Crop in Oceanside, Calif. 

My favorite thing that we do is our Xmas Club. Rather than giving staff discounts on merchandise, we save every receipt for each person’s purchases throughout the year. Then in December, we cut each employee a check for 15 percent of his or her total purchases. This lets our team members have little savings accounts. One of my gals used hers for a down payment on a car!

Scott Roseman
Owner of New Leaf Community Markets in Santa Cruz, Calif.

We include profit sharing in our benefits package so that when the business is successful, staff shares in that success. We also provide market-level wages, paid time off, discounts on purchases, health and dental insurance, and a retirement plan. Our managers give out “Seeds of Service” when employees offer exceptional service to customers or others inside the organization. Employees can turn in their “seeds” for gift cards, movie passes, etc.

 Toby Tarpinian
Owner of Morning Glory Natural Foods in Brunswick, Maine 

We show appreciation by creating a fun, all-inclusive, family work environment. Our employees work to their strengths, and we give frequent feedback on job performances. Plus, all jobs include enough diversity to challenge and stimulate each person. We also offer a generous bonus structure and sponsor several out-of-store team-building activities throughout the year.

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