Scorecard System Demoralizing Employees At Whole Foods

Posted February 8, 2018 by Mary McGinley

No one should ever have to be reduced to tears on the job. Unfortunately, however, some employees at Whole Foods Markets across the country are finding themselves crying in both stress and frustration over the company’s new inventory management system is becoming a regular occurrence.

Workers at Whole Foods are genuinely afraid of losing their jobs. According to an article on, an unnamed supervisor at the natural grocery chain told Business Insider that the new system, Order-To-Shelf (OTS) is not only punitive, it was giving them nightmares.

Company executives implemented OTS as a way to cut costs, lessen food waste and to free up workers to spend more time with customers. However, according to many of those workers on the front lines within the actual stores, the OTS system is making it so that they are spending less time helping customers. Some of those workers are now searching for another job. Some who worked for Whole Foods as cashiers, store managers and at the corporate level have chosen to leave Whole Foods with almost 20 years at the company.

OTS uses a scorecard where managers go through the store regularly with a checklist to ensure every single item is in the proper place and just the right amount of stock is in the store. If there isn’t enough or if there is too much overstock, or if an item is not labeled or out of its designated spot, it counts as a negative. Employees are regularly queried about departmental sales goals and best sellers. A failing score is considered anything that falls below 89.9%.  Having a low score can result in disciplinary action or termination of employment. Whole Foods employees say that the reason OTS is failing is a lack of training on the new system and no clear consistent idea of what management’s goals and objectives truly are.