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(NPR)   Costco CEO sees better wages as a competitive advantage, raises starting pay to $16/hr   (npr.org) divider line
    More: Interesting, Employment, CEO W. Craig Jelinek, federal minimum wage, starting pay, Minimum wage, next week, Dozens of states, half of Costco  
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265 clicks; posted to Business » on 25 Feb 2021 at 3:05 PM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



34 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2021-02-25 2:10:39 PM  
Happy workers are better workers.  It's not rocket science.
 
2021-02-25 2:13:21 PM  
We were members for a year, and apart from the very friendly/helpful cashiers, all the employees acted like Walmart-level automatons. It was a bit of a surprise considering all the nearby retail/grocery employees are generally cheerful and helpful (except Walmart, of course).

I love that they do put employees first, but it's also clear that their competitive advantage there is starting to wear off -- our Target, for comparison, starts everyone at $15 now.
 
2021-02-25 2:16:38 PM  

Joe USer: Happy workers are better workers.  It's not rocket science.


Amazing how many companies don't want to acknowledge that though
 
2021-02-25 2:41:57 PM  

NikolaiFarkoff: We were members for a year, and apart from the very friendly/helpful cashiers, all the employees acted like Walmart-level automatons. It was a bit of a surprise considering all the nearby retail/grocery employees are generally cheerful and helpful (except Walmart, of course).

I love that they do put employees first, but it's also clear that their competitive advantage there is starting to wear off -- our Target, for comparison, starts everyone at $15 now.


Really?  Huh.  Every Costco I've been a member of had great employees who at least acted as if they were happy to help me out.
 
2021-02-25 2:46:19 PM  

Gubbo: Joe USer: Happy workers are better workers.  It's not rocket science.

Amazing how many companies don't want to acknowledge that though


Most companies are run by asshats.
 
2021-02-25 2:48:46 PM  
Wellp, looks like I might be putting in a resume...that's almost as much as I make now in my manufacturing job...
 
2021-02-25 2:55:55 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Really?  Huh.  Every Costco I've been a member of had great employees who at least acted as if they were happy to help me out.


Yeah, that's the baffling part to me -- their reputation preceded them (as far as good employees) but it wasn't my experience. It was mostly just the sample people at the end of each aisle looking disgruntled. Nobody anywhere in the aisles to help find things. I know they run a pretty tight ship and I'm all for keeping people employed, I just found them not very competitive as a grocery store. It definitely weighed heavily in our decision not to renew (plus the endless crowds and very narrow selection).

But I still appreciate that they're always raising the bar for low employee turnover, good return policies, etc.
 
2021-02-25 3:08:55 PM  

Joe USer: Happy workers are better workers.  It's not rocket science.


And higher wages attract more job seekers giving you a better pool to choose from. This shiat seems pretty simple.
 
2021-02-25 3:13:17 PM  
Kaiser and Hershey believed healthy workers were better workers so they created the best healthcare systems in the U.S.
Today ,every job is a temp job, every worker is a drain on the company to be used up and then replaced.

It is nice when you see one company look at employees as people.
 
2021-02-25 3:15:45 PM  
It never made sense to me that people could work for a company that sells a product and not be able to afford to shop there (Nordstrom, I'm looking at you).

Good for Costco for doing what makes sense. Hopefully others will follow.
 
2021-02-25 3:33:06 PM  
Costco has always been a good employer. I have never heard a bad thing from the folks I know who worked with them.
 
2021-02-25 3:38:43 PM  

NikolaiFarkoff: Benevolent Misanthrope: Really?  Huh.  Every Costco I've been a member of had great employees who at least acted as if they were happy to help me out.

Yeah, that's the baffling part to me -- their reputation preceded them (as far as good employees) but it wasn't my experience. It was mostly just the sample people at the end of each aisle looking disgruntled. Nobody anywhere in the aisles to help find things. I know they run a pretty tight ship and I'm all for keeping people employed, I just found them not very competitive as a grocery store. It definitely weighed heavily in our decision not to renew (plus the endless crowds and very narrow selection).

But I still appreciate that they're always raising the bar for low employee turnover, good return policies, etc.


I think that's your issue there; I don't believe those are actually costco employees, but rather contractors.  That being said, to your point, the vast majority of actual employees seem to be at the cash registers, and not a ton actually out on the floor to help.

https://www.delish.com/food/a53063/wh​a​t-its-really-like-being-a-costco-sampl​e-person/
 
2021-02-25 3:39:09 PM  

NikolaiFarkoff: Benevolent Misanthrope: Really?  Huh.  Every Costco I've been a member of had great employees who at least acted as if they were happy to help me out.

Yeah, that's the baffling part to me -- their reputation preceded them (as far as good employees) but it wasn't my experience. It was mostly just the sample people at the end of each aisle looking disgruntled. Nobody anywhere in the aisles to help find things. I know they run a pretty tight ship and I'm all for keeping people employed, I just found them not very competitive as a grocery store. It definitely weighed heavily in our decision not to renew (plus the endless crowds and very narrow selection).

But I still appreciate that they're always raising the bar for low employee turnover, good return policies, etc.


Fun Fact: The sample people at Costco don't actually work for Costco.
 
2021-02-25 3:50:30 PM  

Unoriginal_Username: Joe USer: Happy workers are better workers.  It's not rocket science.

And higher wages attract more job seekers giving you a better pool to choose from. This shiat seems pretty simple.


Yup, at some point the government tried imposing a B-scale to pay new air traffic controllers who were coming in to replace the Regan-era guys who were retiring.

Besides the terrifying fact that most of us were working side jobs because the trainee pay was $18K (it can take years to finish training), none of us were going to hang around. Thankfully, Obama and the Union managed to fix it soon after he was inaugurated.

That had the added bonus of turning the bulk of the young controller workforce blue, because it is not hard to see that one party wanted skilled people that would stay put for an entire career, and the other party would be fine with expendables.
 
2021-02-25 3:52:17 PM  

Bob Falfa: NikolaiFarkoff: Benevolent Misanthrope: Really?  Huh.  Every Costco I've been a member of had great employees who at least acted as if they were happy to help me out.

Yeah, that's the baffling part to me -- their reputation preceded them (as far as good employees) but it wasn't my experience. It was mostly just the sample people at the end of each aisle looking disgruntled. Nobody anywhere in the aisles to help find things. I know they run a pretty tight ship and I'm all for keeping people employed, I just found them not very competitive as a grocery store. It definitely weighed heavily in our decision not to renew (plus the endless crowds and very narrow selection).

But I still appreciate that they're always raising the bar for low employee turnover, good return policies, etc.

Fun Fact: The sample people at Costco don't actually work for Costco.


Will agree, my friend's mother worked for a company that did all the sampling for Kroger's stores (and Wal-Mart too I think).

I never knew that until my friend told me though...interesting but also I guess it makes sense?
 
2021-02-25 4:27:21 PM  

NikolaiFarkoff: It was mostly just the sample people at the end of each aisle looking disgruntled.


The sample people are not Costco employees. They are probably getting more typical part-time retail pay and "benefits".

I'd be thrilled if Costco just stopped with the samples.
 
2021-02-25 4:35:09 PM  

OccamsWhiskers: NikolaiFarkoff: It was mostly just the sample people at the end of each aisle looking disgruntled.

The sample people are not Costco employees. They are probably getting more typical part-time retail pay and "benefits".

I'd be thrilled if Costco just stopped with the samples.


Me too. Some people get kind of aggressive about having to wait in line for a tablespoon of yogurt or whatever they have that day.
 
2021-02-25 4:39:04 PM  
I hate how this is looked at as an exception and mocked by the majority of businesses in the US.

Seriously, where I work now is the ONLY place I've ever worked that wasn't passive aggressive towards the employees and even that's starting to change as the company keeps ballooning and moving further away from family run to "family Run"
 
2021-02-25 4:39:32 PM  

OccamsWhiskers: NikolaiFarkoff: It was mostly just the sample people at the end of each aisle looking disgruntled.

The sample people are not Costco employees. They are probably getting more typical part-time retail pay and "benefits".

I'd be thrilled if Costco just stopped with the samples.


Ditto, and thanks to all for clarifying that.

Let me rephrase: Costco staffing their stores with a 3:1 contractor:employee ratio on the floor is an unmitigated PR disaster.

They should at least label them better OR get them more in line with corporate culture.
 
2021-02-25 4:50:43 PM  

IlGreven: Wellp, looks like I might be putting in a resume...that's almost as much as I make now in my manufacturing job...


I mean, that's the intended consequence of minimum wage increases.  If the wage hike passes, you can go to your boss and demand a raise, because you could be making the same amount of money as a Wal-Mart greeter for what you're being paid for skilled work.  That might be a better bargaining hand than most employees in your position have had in more than 20 years.  And yeah, there are diminishing returns. A person making $50-100/hr doesn't have the best argument they should get a bump too.  But this is one of the few areas where the squeeze would be felt hardest by the people making the most money right now.
 
2021-02-25 4:52:19 PM  
Aldi also pay about $16
 
2021-02-25 4:59:00 PM  
So the free market works.
 
2021-02-25 5:13:22 PM  

Enthusiast34: So the free market works.


In a "slavery would have ended on its own eventually" kind of way, yeah
 
2021-02-25 5:37:02 PM  
Have fun paying $37 for your rotisserie chicken now.
 
2021-02-25 5:37:29 PM  
Just wait until you have to show your receipt to a robot.
 
2021-02-25 6:40:18 PM  

TDWCom29: Enthusiast34: So the free market works.

In a "slavery would have ended on its own eventually" kind of way, yeah


A lot of companies have moved to at least $15. It'll just pressure the rest to match.
 
2021-02-25 6:44:48 PM  

JerseyTim: Have fun paying $37 for your rotisserie chicken now.


Come on.  Put forth some effort.  This is just baaad.
 
2021-02-25 6:51:54 PM  

Unoriginal_Username: Joe USer: Happy workers are better workers.  It's not rocket science.

And higher wages attract more job seekers giving you a better pool to choose from. This shiat seems pretty simple.


You'd think. But most managers aren't trained in management, they just have experience. And experience tells them there is no difference between a worker and a good worker.

And even then, a good worker isn't worth the cost when 'good enough' gets the job done. And after that, good workers are a threat to management because they can replace them.

I mean, if you want to have a better more profitable company it's best to get the best worker possible, but what if you just want to be good enough?
 
2021-02-25 7:27:25 PM  
While I applaud their compensation policy, the Costco nearest me, Teterboro NJ, is a balls out madhouse from 20 minutes after opening up until closing. The people who work there bear the brunt of NYC metro's hive of scum and villainy, and their demeanor is reflective of that.
 
2021-02-25 8:45:33 PM  

Joe USer: Happy workers are better workers.  It's not rocket science.


And when you pay more than the competition, you get the better employees. Minimum wage means you get the people who didn't get the job at the places that paid better.
 
2021-02-25 9:02:53 PM  

zeroman987: JerseyTim: Have fun paying $37 for your rotisserie chicken now.

Come on.  Put forth some effort.  This is just baaad.


They can't all be winners.
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-02-26 7:36:02 AM  

JerseyTim: Just wait until you have to show your receipt to a robot.


The reason they check receipts isn't because they don't trust the customer - it's because they don't trust the cashier.
 
2021-02-26 8:02:53 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size


My mother works for Costco and I saw the employee book they gave out once outlining all the various jobs and pay structure.
New hires at Costco CANADA start at basically minimum wage or just above it on a Part Time basis and then. If you're well liked and get along with everyone they offer you a raise and a full time position (assuming one is available) then its all about putting your time in.
You're given raises based on x amount of hours worked to a maximum cap for that particular position.
She's been in Costco for a very long time now and makes more than $25/h for folding the clothes everyone rummaged through each day.
Butchers are paid even more, bakers are paid well..
Actually, everyone in Costco is paid really well in general once you've put in some time with the company.
Probably why I've never ran into an asshat employee there.
But hey, Walmart, McDonalds and the rest all need to have their employees subsidized by the government or they'll go bankruptcy tomorrow!!

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-02-26 1:50:33 PM  
This is a better way than raising the minimum to $15.
 
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