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The Poor Employee Training Practices of Dollar Tree
Poor Training and Sexist Working Environment
There is one thing that I have come to notice over the last ten years of my working life, and that is just how many large companies fail to properly train and invest in their employees. I figured that I had to bring one such company to the mainstream, because I had such a fast stint there that I had no choice but to leave. Dollar Tree which is a Fortune 500 company was founded in 1991 by Macon Brock and Doug Perry in Norfolk, Virginia. The brand itself has become a staple of lower end communities for offering a variety of products ranging from house goods to frozen grocery items. Unfortunately what I have come to notice at Dollar Tree are a couple of issues with the employee training, and management training program. It seems that this company not only favors certain managers and employees, but also seems to frown upon properly training their male employees.
The Dollar Tree Experience:
Dollar Tree is a huge company with lots of room to move within the company, which is wonderful for someone who is seeking a long term career. One of the issues arises with the employee labor hours, no employee other than the Store Manager and Assistant store manager are eligible to receive full time hours. That means that even a closing manager will only average twenty five hours a week, and in many cities that is barely enough to live on. On top of only getting a set amount of hours, the hourly cashiers are even lesser. The only employees who are eligible to receive benefits at Dollar Tree are the top two managers of each store, no part time employees will ever be eligible to receive benefits or get enough hours to actually achieve ever getting benefits.
Secondary, Dollar Tree has horrible employee management procedures. Even in their largest stores they expect one manager and maybe two employees to not only recover the entire store, and clean and mop all within the allotted amount of time. Many of the Dollar Tree locations are trashed inside, and far from salvageable. They do not train their managers properly, and thus the stores suffer because of this. When I worked as a freight manager my store manager was so scattered that she couldn’t even focus on one task. Training was an absolute joke, by training they want you to read a book for about an hour if that and then they leave you in an isle to start stocking freight.
My training was piss poor at best, all they strive for is to get freight onto the shelves, but they also want you to learn all of the company management practices without any hands on training. My manager had no time to hands on train me, when she wasn’t in the office she was on a cash register ringing customers out. This goes back to horrible employee management, and also being far too understaffed. The company definitely cuts a lot of corners, but then the new management trainees get penalized for it. Our regional manager didn’t seem to have a solid grasp of just how poorly her management was training the employees, she only cared about the numbers. From my short experience in Dollar Tree it seems that only friends can seem to make it at Dollar Tree, unless by some miracle you actually have a manager who will properly train you.
Two Week Training – a Joke:
The first few days of working at Dollar Tree as the freight manager were a joke, the training was lack luster at best. I was provided a green binder with the training materials but sent to start working the floor, I asked if I could bring the binder home and thoroughly study it and I was told no. So they expected me to read for about an hour, memorize a section and then still pass the tests and be a sufficient manager. This was beyond insane, and my manager had been with the company since 1997 and I just don’t see how this is possible without some serious ass kissing. I did notice that a lot of people in many stores are close friends, and it seems like this is the only way to actually succeed in this company.
Fortunately for those of us who are outsiders, we are really screwed unless we are fast learners. I also noticed a complete lack of males working in the stores whatsoever. There were two that I could count, and that is across two completely separate stores. This brings up questions of not only discrimination against males, but downright harassment. I was thrown into the fire being a male, poorly trained, and then expected to accept a lesser position because of the company’s mistake. I have serious reservations about how I was treated as a male here, and how other males “the few” are still treated by the company, like I said except for the ass kissers.
The training videos when we were able to watch them were also not that helpful, they had a question and answer section at the end of each video but it didn’t matter which answer was selected because the video will still credit your progress. The entire company seems to be running on a twenty year old version of windows, and almost all of the training materials were outdated or wrong. My manager had me watch a video on selling alcohol, and no Dollar Tree that I am aware of even sells any type of alcohol. But she was so scattered that I didn’t receive the proper training that I deserved, and due to the fact that this location was in Arkansas there are no employee rights, so I decided it was a more tangible option to leave.
Serious Changes Need to Come to Dollar Tree:
I know for a fact, that at least in the district that I worked this company is at least a little sexiest against men. The manger that they have in place to run their model store seriously needs some proper employee training, because you cannot hire someone and expect them to take to the job like a duck to water. This just will not happen in most cases, and then the employee cannot be penalized for lack luster training at best. I watched the corporate trainer at the new store “Shari” take a smoke break almost every ten minutes, as well as sitting plastered to her phone. But then they get on the new employees for forgetting a stocking practice that we were only briefly trained on for a moment.
I would suggest that Dollar Tree needs to completely revamp their employee training system, and first off if the manager is too overwhelmed the employee should be able to train with someone who can give them the hands on attention that they deserve. I don’t understand why a company would waste the time of recruiting new employees, without actually investing the time into them. I had some of the worst training that I have ever experienced with this company, I mean the training was not there at all. Some of the policies need to be changed as well, such as being able to bring the training booklet home to study. If I had just been able to thoroughly study this job from the start I would have excelled, but when I saw how the regional manager was trying to treat me over lackluster training provided by “her” store manager I decided to leave.
Dollar Tree really needs to change their horrible training practices, and they need to really invest in their employees better. The overall quality of their retail stores would improve vastly if they provided a more thorough training experience, especially with a better handbook and more detailed training videos. Some people need to learn by watching and doing, you cannot just dump someone in the break room and expect them to read for an hour and learn as detailed of a job as being a freight manager is. I would definitely recommend steering clear of this company if you are looking for proper training or to make a career out of this, I made the mistake of trying to be management for this company and it costed me time and effort.