Distance Education

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Planning for a Needs Assessment.

A2:  Planning for a Needs Assessment.

Whole Foods Market

Organization Description:
Whole Foods Market started 1980 in Austin Texas. Then, a very small store with strong intentions of retailing healthy and organic food products in the community, promoting diversity, awareness and wellness. Currently, Whole Foods Market is the leading company in the sales of organic and natural food products within America. Their growth became a global event in 2006. Whole foods Market now have 310 market places in United States and United Kingdom. Whole foods Market consist of  62, 000 employees,  10 distribution centers, 7 regional bakery sites and 5 commissaries.

Whole Foods Market Mission:
The mission revolves around a common saying”Whole foods, Whole people and Whole Planet”. These terms are interconnected and overlap in the approach to the business of this organization.
Green Mission:
Highlights the value of 3R’s. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

 With a mindset of serving the community, maximizing diversity and wellness, they are able to select the best quality products, supported by a self –directed team culture creating a respectful workplace, and in participation in active agricultural practices in organic farming while sustaining our planet with wise environmental practices.

Whole Foods Core Values:

Selling the highest quality natural and organic products available.
Satisfying and delighting our customers.
Supporting team member’s happiness and excellence.
Creating wealth through profits and growth
Caring about our communities and our environment.
Creating ongoing win-win partnership with our suppliers. 

The focus is on healthy eating because it offers the greatest health benefits by purchasing.

Based on my observation on the information presented on Whole foods market web site, I prefer to visit one of the whole foods market in my area to get a firsthand information on what
goes on in this region. I recognized that a true assessment of Whole foods Market should include the entire organization. Knowing that there are over 310 stores across the world, I will consider getting a buy-in from the board of directors from various regions, VP’s of various Team member services, independent Stakeholders, employees, Mangers, customers, environmentalists, Agricultural partners, and food banks.  Noe (2010) states “It is important to consider the organizational business strategy, its resources available for training, and support by managers, peers for training activities. (p. 103). Conducting organizational analysis to determine the appropriateness of training.  Selected questions will be directed to organizational leaders and mid-level managers, and trainers.
  •  How does training support the strategic need of Whole food Market?
  • Are there resources allocated for training purposes?
  •  Please explain how employees perceive training in this organization?
  •  Considering the size of your organization, how would training improve the employee’s performance, relationship to customers and partners?
Person analysis helps to identify employees who need training. Noe (2010).
What are your strengths and weaknesses in getting your job done?
Do you feel that your performance now satisfy your job expectation? If yes, How? If no, why?
How can organizational training assist in your job performance?
The person analysis will focus on the employees, team leaders, and customers.

Tasks analysis results in a description of work activities, including tasks performed by the employee and the knowledge, skills and abilities required to complete the task. Noe (2010). In reality, a job must be selected before analysis questions could be developed. Noe (2010). Task analysis must represent documents available at the local site or database of the organizations. For each position, selected for analysis, having the critical tasks steps, how often employees need to complete the task and current level of difficulty when performing task will lead to in-depth information about the task in question.
During the assessment process, I will like comprehensive information that is generated through the organization’s operation. Some of these are performance appraisal forms, job descriptions, current training curriculum's and what gaps such trainings seek to close. Stated and unstated operational codes.
In conducting a need assessment for an organizational, person and task analysis, I will adopt a combination of techniques to get to the information needed.
I will conduct a conference meeting initially to get all my stakeholders informed and prepare for the process. Questionnaires will be developed online to meet the need of the diverse and global population. For the local work teams, direct observation on the job will be appropriate.  

In conclusion, performing a need assessment is crucial and usually the first step in the instructional design process. Noe (2010). Need assessment enables designers to create effective training program, geared to the strategic business purpose of the organization, and acceptable by all stakeholders through communication and collaboration for the improvement of employees and the organization as a whole.
Noe (2010) Employee Training and Development (5th Ed.) New York, NY: McGraw Hill.  
Whole foods Market. Retrieved May 10, 2012 from http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/.
Whole Foods Core Values. Retrieved, May 10, 2012 from http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/values/corevalues.php.



  1. Hi Folashade,
    Very well written blog about Whole foods. When I would have family parties I would purchase my meat from them knowing I would get healthy cuts of meat. I was having a conversation with a friend about comparing Whole foods with Trader Joe's and he said there was a report that Whole foods is not purely natural. So I went looking to see if it was true and found this; http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/organic-elite-surrenders-to-monsanto/
    Based on this information what doyou think about Whole Foods core values now?

  2. Neal,
    Thanks for your feedback. I checked the website and read some disturbing information. I will like to research and get more accurate information. On the other hand, I am not surprised about the monopoly of "Monsantos" I watch a video feb, 2012 when I was getting my food license re-certification. I recalled that name. Part of the discussion on the video highlight the experience of local farmers about poultry and seedling, lawsuits and others. Like I said earlier, I will like to get more information on this issue.

  3. Hi Folashade,

    I second Neal's comments. This is a very well written, thorough needs assessment about Whole Foods. We have several Whole Foods store here in Houston. One of the interesting quotes I found reported from the Wall Street Journal,"The upscale grocer is expanding beyond its traditional urban haunts into suburban markets, and in the process trying to shed the reputation that earned it the nickname "Whole Paycheck," (http://www.newser.com/story/139770/whole-foods-trying-to-lose-whole-paycheck-rep.html) Did you uncover any information that discussed their high prices?

    Patricia K

  4. Folashade,
    Starting your needs assessment with a review of the Whole Foods mission statements and core values is a very good approach. You put together a very thorough list of stakeholders for assessment. Which stakeholders would you include in the Task analysis phase? I really liked the fact you're including the customers in the Person analysis? What about including the Suppliers in this stage of analysis?
    Great idea to start the assessment process with a meeting of the stakeholders to define the process and get their support.
    Due to the diversity and dispersed nature of the employees and stakeholders, the use of online questionnaires when feasible is important. Surveys followed by site observations is an effective approach to verifying your findings. A very well designed assessment plan.