Training Guides Employees to Career Growth, Management Opportunities

WASHINGTON, DC — October 3, 2005 — Safeway Inc.’s “Retail Management Training Track” won the Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) Maximizing People Potential (Maxx) Award.

The award recognizes an exceptional human resources or training program that significantly enhances employee performance or leads to accomplishment of a key business goal.   

“The Maxx Award finalists enriched employee performance by creating innovative programs designed to encourage success,” said Kimberly Roberts, FMI’s senior manager of education programs. “FMI commends these companies for their commitment to workplace learning and growth.”

Safeway’s Retail Management Training Track encompasses comprehensive training for the three retail management positions preceding store manager: Department Manager, Person-in-Charge and Assistant Manager. Each contains multiple modules and methods of learning to prepare associates for these positions:

  • Department Manager — Safeway’s newest program contains six modules that include analyzing the department, supervisory skills, supervising for superior service, safety and sanitation, merchandising and department administration.

  • Person-in-Charge — Seven modules incorporate developing supervisory skills, meeting sales objectives, managing store assets and shrink, supervising for superior service, opening procedures and supervising at night.

  • Assistant Manager — 70 modules fall under major categories of management skills, store operations and store administration.

“Safeway is committed to our goal of providing advancement opportunities for our employees. We accomplish this important goal by providing experience, mentoring and training, of which our Retail Management Training Track is a critical part of our overall training initiative,” said Dick Gonzales, senior vice president of human resources, Safeway Inc.

Industry professionals at FMI’s Human Resources/Training & Development Conference chose Safeway’s management program after viewing presentations from the company and two other award finalists: Cub Foods and Supermarkets of Cherry Hill, Inc.   Their programs were:

  • Managing Performance That Does Not Meet Expectations — Cub Foods — This initiative was designed to provide management with the tools and skills needed to clearly communicate and manage performance expectations in a way that will have a positive impact on associates.   Five training modules include basic principles of genuine leadership, providing constructive feedback, developing others through coaching, correcting performance problems and giving recognition.

  • English as a Second Language Training — Supermarkets of Cherry Hill, Inc. — This program utilizes The Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion program, which is computer training that teaches students to speak, write and understand a new language at an accelerated pace. Supermarkets of Cherry Hill provided this training using their computers and a training room, and paid associates to complete the sessions. The program resulted in a high retention rate for employees who participated.

The three finalists were chosen based on three criteria: 1) impact on workplace learning and performance, 2) return on investment, and 3) minimal use of outside products.
Previous award winners include Raley’s in 2004, Hy-Vee, Inc. in 2003 and Big Y Foods, Inc. in 2002.