Have you ever been to a Whole Foods? I love it! It is one of my places to shop. Yes, I can find high quality food there but there is something else that makes the Whole Foods atmosphere seem special. I noticed that the employees generally seem like they enjoy working there. I have heard that the CEO, John Mackey, had a unique way that he structured his leadership style.
According to a case study done on the relationship between employee retention and the modern leadership approach, Whole Foods employee retention rate is much higher when compared to other similar companies. The article cited that there are specific leadership approaches as to why.
The study provided a number of key findings of successful practices: (1) establish a mission and values driven culture; (2) provide a thriving environment in which your employees can be their true selves; (3) empower employees by encouraging innovation and dispersed decision making; (4) offer individual and team incentives for ideal behavior and performance; and (5) promote growth opportunities both vertically and laterally within the company. “The conclusion answered the primary research question and argues for emphasis on the role of modern leadership approaches such as servant, values and decentralized leadership theory to improve retention efforts” (Pearson, K., 2012).
These successful leadership practices are important not only for leadership in the business world, but educational leadership as well and may improve teacher and education retention rate across the country.
Pearson, K. (2012). Whole foods market ™ case study: Leadership and employee retention. Johnson & Wales University, Providence, RI