“We know we can only be a great place to shop if we’re first a great place to work.” These are the words of Peggy Riley, Vice President of Employee Communications and Engagement at Wegmans, who recently sat down with Firstup to discuss the people-first philosophy that has always driven the organization.
Wegmans has a decades-long history of strong internal communications, and in 2020 the natural continuation of this was the launch of The Dish, their custom-branded intelligent communication platform by Firstup. Now, every single one of Wegmans’ more than 52,000 employees spread across seven states – more than 85% of them frontline deskless workers – could receive company updates on the device in their pocket, and have their voices heard.
The Dish would prove indispensable again in May 2022, when the city of Buffalo, New York, was the site of a devastating mass shooting at a Tops supermarket.
Wegmans has half a dozen stores and thousands of employees in Buffalo, and the shooting had “a profound effect” on them, as Peggy recently told Firstup.
“The two-way communication that The Dish enabled really made a meaningful difference for our employees at that time,” Peggy explained.
“In the wake of that event, The Dish was incredibly important to us, not only from our ability to get to our employees and to assure our care and comfort and support for the Buffalo community immediately, but it also provided an opportunity for employees across the organization, days and weeks after the event, to send messages of care and love and support to their fellow workers in Buffalo. And it was just one of the most meaningful, inspiring experiences that we had through the platform where it was our culture and values in action through that digital tool.”
Wegmans is frequently recognized as an industry leader and innovator when it comes to company values and employee communication; it has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by Fortune for 25 consecutive years – coming in at third place in 2022 – with ninety percent of Wegmans employees agreeing that it is a great place to work. The company’s response to the tragedy in Buffalo illustrates just how important clear communication is at every moment of the employee journey, from times of celebration and success, to the darkest of days.