A new year brings the opportunity to embrace the future with new ideas. Seeing an opportunity can be the easy part, but voicing your vision takes a certain amount of bravery.
That’s what makes Publix different — our open-door policy of listening to associates and, most importantly, putting actions behind words are reasons why Publix is considered a great place to work. We encourage our associates to share their perspectives because we believe they’re a vital 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. The U.S. 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, Mr. George drove a car without air conditioning to Atlanta on state roads, which were not always paved. Unfortunately, the new owner declined to meet with Mr. George, claiming he was tied up in an important business conference. But Mr. George overheard him talking about his golf game.
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 leaders. He dreamed of creating a work environment where associates would feel respected.
On Sept. 6, 1930, his dream became a reality when he opened his first Publix. This culture of open communication is still carried on at Publix today. Read more about Publix Culture and the different ways our associates’ voices can be heard.
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