Distinctive HR Policies and Practices to Create a Workplace “Where Working Is a Pleasure” amid the Covid-19 Pandemic: The Organizational Culture of Publix Super Markets, Inc.

Bahaudin G. Mujtaba, Natalie F. Mesa, Shannon McGee, Sherwayne O. Mears, Fernando S. Moncada


Publix Super Market is relentlessly committed to creating employment opportunities for the communities it serves, especially in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Amid ever increasing exogenous pressure, Publix has anchored itself in its world-class Human Resource Management, e.g., staffing protocols, performance management, and employee-management relations. Based on research as well as the personal work experiences of the authors with this organization, this paper and case study offers an in-depth view of how Publix has positioned itself—and remains positioned as—one of the top companies to work for in the United States. Rather than view HR as a cog in its operational engine, Publix holds its HR department as a strategic partner. This has been instrumental in maintaining a finger on the pulse of staff’s needs and creating a nurturing culture that champions every professional. Publix is not only a place where ‘shopping is a pleasure,’ but where working is a pleasure also.

More than 150 years ago, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 affirmed that U.S. citizens are entitled to equal protection under the law. Over 50 years ago, the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination. However, despite over a century of legislation and activism, discrimination remains a pressing issue plaguing America today. Despite racial turmoil that afflicts our society, Publix has announced they will not stand for injustice by emphasizing, “Let’s end the injustice. Let’s stand together.” Publix has made a $1 million contribution to the National Urban League affiliates across the Southeast, as they continue to support their civil rights efforts.

Publix offers its associates career growth, and the necessary training for equitable promotional opportunities for all their diverse employees. Furthermore, it invests in its associates' health, with a benefits package that encourages wellness, smoking cessation, and provides primary care, vision, and dental plans. Using a qualitative process based on personal experiences and documented literature, this case study will guide you through some of Publix’s hallmark human resource policies, how the company has embraced them, and how it works daily to encourage and incentivize its associates' career growth.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijhrs.v10i4.17888

Copyright (c) 2020 Bahaudin G. Mujtaba, Natalie F. Mesa, Shannon McGee, Sherwayne O. Mears, Fernando S. Moncada

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