Employees Say That Higher Pay And Great Benefits Make Costco The Best Place To Work

Employees enjoy a higher quality of life and have increased productivity while Costco has lower employee turnover.

Costco parking lot
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Employees enjoy a higher quality of life and have increased productivity while Costco has lower employee turnover.

According to a 2018 report compiled by Indeed, one company ranks heads and shoulders above all others in its database of 18 million employee reviews. Costco Wholesale beat out Kaiser Permanente, Verizon, FedEx Express, and Apple based on criteria that directly impact employee quality of life.

Time.com reported that not only does Costco pay a high living wage of $13.50 per hour, the wholesale retail giant offers impressive employee benefits. The health insurance is a comprehensive plan that supports its staff’s overall wellness. Part-time and full-time employees enjoy top-notch medical and dental coverage, 401K programs, stock options, life insurance, and other perks.

And pay increases are built into the graduated compensation program as showing up for work and doing one’s job is rewarded financially over time. Employees said that the company is family-oriented and respects workers of all positions. Costco sees human capital as its best asset.

“Costco believes that employees are the most important assets in the company,” one employee said.

Indeed used data collected from January 2016 until January 2018 to determine the rankings. Other factors that made Costco a frontrunner is their company culture. Even the product line supports the idea that Costco is a people-driven environment. It has become the world’s largest retailer of organic foods.

Obama at Costco
President Barack Obama at Costco January 29, 2014, in Lanham, Maryland. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Costco’s approach to doing business is nothing new. Bloomberg reported in 2013 that the wholesaler keeps things simple, pays employees well, and therefore has little need for a PR department. At that time, hourly employees earned an average of $20.89 per hour compared to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Eighty-eight percent of employees had company-sponsored medical insurance coverage with low premiums.

CEO Craig Jelinek told Bloomberg that the Costco approach isn’t rocket science. The company simply invests in the things that matter most which include offering quality at the best price and treating consumers with respect.

“This isn’t Harvard grad stuff,” Jelinek said. “We sell quality stuff at the best possible price. If you treat consumers with respect and treat employees with respect, good things are going to happen to you.”

While there has been much opposition to increasing the minimum wage, as President Barack Obama attempted to do during his time in office, employees reported that having a higher quality of life is worth the perceived sacrifice. Obama was seeking just $9 per hour to the dissatisfaction of many business owners. Jelinek agreed that putting more money in the pockets of consumers will only stimulate the economy.