New Trader Joe’s employees don’t rush to start working right away, but get at least a day’s worth of training from introductory videos and one-on-one sessions with managers, or “mates.” As well as going over the basics of treating customers well, they reportedly also cover small but crucial skills like properly bagging groceries.
Store managers are expected to go even further by attending TJ University, which runs two-day classes focused on leadership and team building skills that can apply in running the store and beyond.
Even beyond their initial hiring or promotion, employees still stay informed about Trader Joe’s latest offerings. Before (and hopefully after) the current pandemic, stores held regular tasting panels for crew members to sample new food and wine products before they reached the shelves, all the better to answer customers’ questions and advise their shopping.
“They don’t want us to recommend new products just for the sake of it,” says the Seattle-area employee. “They want us to actually try it, and if we like it, we can say that confidently, but if we don’t like it, they want us to be honest.”
Related: 12 Things You Should Skip at Trader Joe's