Imagine a workplace where your ideas can become reality in your day-to-day job, where quiet acceptance of ongoing challenges is replaced by solution-based collaboration between associates and managers. Bliss, right?
That’s the Publix way, where an open-door policy of listening to associates and, most importantly, putting actions behind words exists. It’s just one reason Publix is considered a great place to work — we encourage our associates to share their perspectives and thank them for being an essential part of our success.
This commitment to active listening was inspired by our founder, Mr. George, and his personal experience with not being heard.
It was the summer of 1930. Florida was in the midst of the Great Depression after the stock market crash of 1929. Mr. George was a dedicated manager at the Piggly Wiggly store in Winter Haven, Florida, which had been sold to a new owner. Mr. George felt compelled to meet the new owner to share his innovative ideas. In the heat of the summer and in an unair-conditioned car, Mr. George drove to Atlanta on state roads, not always paved. Unfortunately, the new owner declined to meet with Mr. George, claiming he was tied up in an important business conference.
Along the drive home, Mr. George’s feelings of disappointment transformed into a vision for a new company where communication was encouraged between employees and managers. He dreamed of creating a work environment where associates would feel respected and their views valued.
On Sept. 6,1930, his dream became a reality when he opened his first Publix. This culture of openness is still carried on at Publix today.