How Whole Foods Market Improved Meetings with Weekly Reporting

According to a survey, on average day there are 17 million meetings in America. Although we could limit the number of meetings, we can’t avoid all of them. Therefore, it is necessary to find the right methods and tools that help us achieve maximum from the meeting time. We talked with Michael Luther from the Whole Foods Market, whose team supports over 10 000 Team Members, to find out how they manage their meetings and use Weekdone weekly progress report.

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1.) To start off, what does your company do?

We work for Whole Foods Market. Founded in Austin Texas, Whole Foods Market is a mission based grocery store, committed to selling the highest quality foods available. It’s a great place to work, chock full of committed Team Members that are passionate about great food (organic, local, artisan), taking care of our Team Members & Customers while serving the greater good of our mission.

2.) Can you describe the structure of your team and its core function(s)?

We are the Mid-Atlantic Region’s Training and Development Team for Whole Foods Market. We support over 10,000 Team Members. We have an instructional designer, and a Team of Trainers who do everything from teaching Orientations & Animal Welfare Rating Training to facilitating Teambuilds.

3.) Why did You decide to choose Weekdone?

Our Team supports 10,000 Team Members and 43 Stores across 7 states in the USA. We needed a better way to stay connected and clearly see what each of us was doing, where we needed support and what our individual goals were for the coming week. Our Team found the act of stopping and writing down your accomplishments for the week was a healthy task—it’s easy to get caught up in all the work you did not get done.  It’s been rewarding for the Team to stop and see what each of us accomplished.  And of course, publicly committing to clear, specific goals gives some incentive for really sticking to it and getting them done.

I expected some push-back on asking the Team to take on another task, but pretty quickly the Team universally liked the process of stopping each week and reflecting back and planning for the next week.  I also appreciate that Weekdone reaches out to us for feedback.

4.) What has improved by using Weekdone? Are there any unexpected benefits you have seen?

We have found that Weekdone has improved our meetings – we are able to move to more strategic discussions since we can go to Weekdone to read our goals and accomplishments from the past week.   We also love reading our Lessons Learned.  I don’t think we had ever stopped before and really thought about our lessons learned on a weekly basis.  It has driven some great conversations and Team growth.

When one task chases after the other its hard to take time to reflect. But Michaels team is a good example, how weekly progress report is used successfully, even if youre supporting more than 10 000 people. Firstly, this method helps to stay connected, especially if the team is scattered around the country. Secondly, this method is rewarding for the team to track its accomplishments. Stopping and taking the time to publicly write down objectives is valuable for the whole team. This gives employees the incentive to really finish what got started. There is a difference between writing something down to your private to-do list and writing it down publicly to a weekly progress report. Thirdly, constructing meetings around the report helps the team to head straight to the strategic and most important discussions. Try also this fun interactive Team Meeting Toolbox. Before the meeting, go over the checklist, reminding of what makes a productive meeting. Send the meeting checklist to other participants together with the event invite. During the meeting try the team meeting timer, making sure you won’t waste another minute mindlessly.

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Whole Foods Market Case Study with Weekdone