At New Seasons Market, we don’t just strive to be the ultimate neighborhood grocery store for our customers—we believe that commitment extends to our staff as well. When our company was founded back in 2000 (by three families and about 50 of their friends), we knew that caring for, respecting, and empowering our employees was the only way to meet our goal of being the friendliest store in town. From the beginning, we’ve created a unique and progressive company culture that has made New Seasons Market a beloved company in our hometown of Portland, Oregon, receiving recognition as one of Portland Business Journal’s Oregon’s Most Admired Companies, as well as being B Corp Certified since 2013.
Recently, we have been surprised to hear that some groups were trying to paint New Seasons in a much different light. So we want to set the record straight about our progressive workplace practices.
Our staff is the heart and soul of our company, bringing our mission to be the ultimate neighborhood grocery store to life every day. The care our customers feel when they shop our stores is a direct reflection of New Seasons being a happy place to work.
We always strive to hire employees from the communities where we’re located. We believe it creates the best staff experience, the best customer experience, and is the best way to bring a true sense of vitality and community to the neighborhoods we serve.
We provide comprehensive compensation and benefits that match or exceed local competitors’ offerings. We offer a flexible paid time off program that starts at two weeks per year, and our sick time policy significantly exceeds city and state requirements. Our robust healthcare plan provides exceptional coverage, which includes naturopathic, chiropractic, and acupuncture coverage, as well as dental and vision services, all at rates 30 – 50% below the industry standard. We’ve also just added a new benefit of paid parental leave for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child, so our staff can bond and build a relationship with the new addition in their family. And we believe in sharing our success with the people who make it possible, so we give back 20% of our after-tax profits to staff through a flat and equitable profit share plan. These benefits have contributed to one of the lowest turnover rates in the industry.
Effective February 1, 2019, we are raising our starting pay to $15 per hour. Our staff are the heart and soul of everything we do, and we’re thrilled to continue to support their growth and help our communities thrive.
Our staff deserve to have a healthy and happy life outside of work, which is why we provide staff with predictable, regular schedules so that they can care for their families, spend time with loved ones, take care of business at home, and rest and recover for their next day of work. Staff members are scheduled to work no more than five days in a row, with at least two consecutive days off, and at least 12 hours of rest between shifts. While schedules sometimes fluctuate due to business needs and staff requests, we make every effort to maintain consistency, and post schedules two weeks in advance. This unique “Lifestyle Scheduling” policy has been in place since we were founded 17 years ago, long before cities and states mandated “secure scheduling” practices.
We believe that empowering staff and enabling them to be involved in decisions that affect them is vital to a happy, productive work environment. Our culture allows everyone at New Seasons to have a voice and to share ideas and concerns. A great example of this is our attendance policy, which over 100 staff members from across the company were actively involved in helping develop. The policy is designed to allow people to take care of themselves, while also ensuring we can take care of our customers and fellow staff.
Our employees come from all backgrounds, which is why we are passionate about supporting and uplifting diversity in our communities. In addition to our non-discrimination policy, we campaigned for marriage equality in Oregon on behalf of our LGBTQ employees and have been recognized for our progressive transgender workplace policies, our treatment of employees with disabilities, and our support of equality in employment by Basic Rights Oregon, the Urban League of Portland, and Portland Citizen’s Disability Advisory Committee, just to name a few.
Food safety and quality are paramount to New Seasons Market. These principles are part of our daily jobs and overall operations, encompassing every staff member and their actions, and are aligned with top industry standards. All our food service department managers and chefs are ServSafe Certified, and each store is audited by an accredited third-party auditor (UL) at least every 60 days for food safety, personal hygiene, sanitary conditions, and food code compliance.
We’re proud to be the world’s first certified B Corp grocer, placing us in a community of over 2,200 “triple-bottom-line” companies around the world dedicated to using the power of business for good. This commitment to balancing people-planet-profit assures that we place as much value on taking care of our staff, our communities, and our environment, as we do on growing a profitable business.
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