Aldi, Trader Joe's earn top honors in pay transparency: report
- Grocery chains Aldi and Trader Joes’ were among the top employers on PayScale’s Hero Awards for Pay Transparency. In a news release, PayScale said that restaurants and grocers dominate the top 10. Both industries that have relatively thin profit margins, which suggests that transparency may be a distinct advantage in these highly competitive industries.
- PayScale, a company providing on-demand cloud compensation solutions, said businesses should consider a variety of factors in determining their approach to pay transparency, from market data to culture. The website looked at feedback from workers at more than 47,000 employers in determining the list.
- “People are more likely to trust their employer if it’s clear how and why they are paid the compensation they earn. There really is no downside to sharing your organization’s approach to compensation, but there is a well-researched downside to remaining silent,” PayScale vice president Lydia Frank said in an emailed statement. “Employees feel better about their deal when organizations are more transparent about pay decisions and practices.”
With unemployment rates at historic lows, it’s no surprise grocers are bumping up pay. In a hyper-competitive market, companies such as Aldi must recognize that happy workers, and those that can offer great customer service, can help them stand out. That makes those who pay well and offer solid benefits not only more likely to find employees, but also more willing to be open about the compensation they offer workers. And results from a recent PayScale study showed that pay perception — how employees feel about their organization's approach to pay fairness and transparency — contributed more to job satisfaction and retention than the amount of pay.
Discounter Aldi pays well above average, according to glassdoor.com. Cashiers and store associates make $12 an hour on average, while those working in a warehouse or helping put together orders make $17 an hour. Shift managers can pull in a solid $42,000 annually, and assistant managers make an average $21 an hour. That pay stacks up quite nicely compared with the $9.13 per hour the average cashier makes, according to PayScale.
Walmart, too, this year increased its wage rate for all hourly associates in the U.S. to $11, expanded maternity and parental leave benefits and provide a one-time cash bonus for eligible associates of up to $1,000.
Likewise, Kroger plans to pay its associates more. In March, the retailer’s Cincinnati employees approved a deal that would boost wages in several cities, including the Cincinnati-Dayton area, where base hourly wages will be $10 and go up to $11 an hour once a worker has been on the job for a year.
Even smaller grocers are getting in on the act. Lakewood, Colorado based Natural Grocers, for example, this spring boosted pay for store associates to $11 an hour bar, slightly above Colorado’s $10.20 an hour minimum wage. The move underscores Natural Grocers need for consistent, high-touch service from employees. Shoppers in this space often look to store workers for help navigating claims like organic, fair trade and non-GMO.
Grocers may be cutting back spending in other areas, but many clearly feel attracting and retaining good workers through good pay is a worthwhile investment. As brick-and-mortar stores attempt to stay relevant in the Amazon-dominated e-commerce world, they seem to be betting good customer service will keep consumers coming through the door.