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Employee Retention of Publix

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Employee Retention of Publix
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Pratik Kukreja
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Employee Retention of Publix - April 15th, 2011

Publix Super Markets, Inc. (commonly known as Publix) is an American supermarket chain based in Lakeland, Florida.
Founded in 1930 by George W. Jenkins, it is an employee-owned, privately held corporation. Publix is currently ranked No. 86 on Fortune magazine's list of 100 Best Companies to Work For 2010[4] and was ranked No. 8 on Forbes' 2010 list of America's Largest Private Companies and is the largest in Florida.[5] The company's 2009 sales totaled US$24.3 billion, with profits of over $1.2 billion,[2] ranking #99 on Fortune magazine's Fortune 500 list of U.S. companies for 2010. Supermarket News ranked Publix No. 7 in the 2009 "Top 75 North American Food Retailers" based on 2008 fiscal year sales.[6] Based on 2006 revenue, Publix is the fifteenth-largest US retailer.[7] Publix's current stock price is $20.90 per share though it is privately held and not available to the public.[8]
Publix has operations in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama. It employs over 140,000 people at its 1,023 retail locations, cooking schools, corporate offices, eight grocery distribution centers, and nine Publix brand manufacturing facilities. The manufacturing facilities produce its dairy, deli, bakery, and other food products.[9] In addition, Publix owns Crispers, a chain of restaurants in Florida specializing in salads; some Crispers locations are adjacent to, or built into, the already existing deli department in select Publix Super Markets.
Publix stands as one of the largest US regional grocery chains. Its main competitors are national grocery chains IGA, Kroger, SuperValu, and Whole Foods; consolidated retail and warehouse chains, including Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, Costco, Sam's Club and BJ's Wholesale Club; and several regional grocery chains, including BI-LO, Fresh Market, Piggly Wiggly, Sweetbay, Winn-Dixie, and Ingles.

This paper explains that employees no longer just want good wages and job security; they really want appreciation and involvement, demand a balance between work and family life and are not willing to sacrifice everything for their careers and their employers. The author points out that, to retain employees, the government must have an effective retention strategy, similar to non-governmental companies, which addresses four key components: Effective management, career development opportunities, life-work balance benefits and programs and compensation and recognition. The paper stresses that the government must understand employee child-care needs and provide such benefits as on site public schools, which meet the educational requirements of the local school district, on-site day care and child-care subsidies.

Publix Super Markets tops the list of privately owned supermarket operators in the US. By emphasizing service and a family-friendly image over price, Publix has grown faster and been more profitable than Winn-Dixie Stores and other rivals. More than two-thirds of its 1,030-plus stores are in Florida, but it also operates in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Publix makes some of its own bakery, deli, and dairy goods, and many stores house pharmacies and banks. It also operates liquor stores, convenience stores, and Crispers restaurants in Florida. Founder George Jenkins began offering stock to Publix employees in 1930. Employees own about 30% of Publix, which is still run by the Jenkins family.

Some companies proclaim that their associates are their greatest asset. At Publix, our associates are the company. Their talent provides our competitive advantage. That's because Publix hires individuals who have high standards, a deep desire to make a difference, and a keen sense of teamwork, and then supports their professional growth—through coaching, training, and advancement. Our associates are also owners of the company.

Our Human Resources team directs many of the initiatives designed to further the potential of the more than 140,000 associates at Publix and to further the company's ability to deliver premier customer service. In other words, HR helps ensure that Publix has the right talent in place to execute the company's strategies.

Our Accomplishments
In 2008, HR associates helped:

screen around 500,000 applicants
process more than 42,000 hires
test nearly 10,000 associates seeking a promotion
conduct more than 1,000 training sessions
survey all 140,000 associates to obtain feedback about many aspects of the company, and
coordinate succession planning for all store management positions and a wide range of leadership positions throughout the company.

Other Contributions
HR also contributes to other strategic initiatives by:

assisting in defining standards for the delivery of premier customer service.
providing field support to all of our stores, manufacturing plants, distribution centers, and corporate offices—on topics ranging from recruiting to retention, performance evaluation to reward systems, conflict resolution to legal compliance.
surveying every Publix associate once a year for feedback on our leadership, business tools, compensation package, and policies.
developing and delivering educational programs to help achieve the company's business objectives.
influencing decisions on the geographic markets in which we choose to operate.
promoting diversity in every respect.
evaluating each new technology designed to increase the effectiveness of HR functions.
HR has another role: to help the company comply with all employment laws. We have attorneys, legal specialists, investigators, and associate relations specialists to serve as consultants to all sectors of the company.

The more than 300 associates in HR also process every paycheck, archive every attendance record, and establish pay ranges for every position.

George Jenkins opened the first Publix market in Winter Haven, Florida, in 1930.[10] In 1934, that store made $120,000 in sales. In 1935, he opened a second market, the Economy Food Store, also in Winter Haven. Despite the Great Depression, his stores were financially successful.
In 1940, Jenkins, affectionately called Mr. George by his employees, mortgaged an orange grove to build Florida's first supermarket. His "food palace" had piped-in music, air conditioning, cold cases for frozen and refrigerated items, in-store donut and flower shops, and electric-eye automatic doors. During World War II, material shortages prevented him from building additional stores. In 1945, Jenkins purchased the 19-store All American chain of food stores and converted them into Publix Super Markets.[11]
In 1951, Publix moved its headquarters from Winter Haven to Lakeland, Florida, and built its first distribution warehouse there. At the same time, he began to close the All American stores, replacing them with Publix markets. In 1956, Publix crossed $50 million in sales, and $1 million in profit. In 1957, the donut shop in each store was expanded into a full-service bakery.
By 1959, Publix was the dominant supermarket chain in central Florida, and began expansion to southeast Florida. In 1963, the company built a distribution center in Miami, and began providing deli services. In 1970, sales crossed $500 million; they reached $1 billion in 1974, when the chain expanded to include Jacksonville, Florida.

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