Working with Cardeñas to Connect the Frontline

2023/ A WorkJam Blog
-Jim Shields

Hey Stater Bros’ Team! 


I am so excited at the prospect of working with you and your team. When I am visiting friends in Murrieta (I’m based in Sacramento), we always make it a point to stop at Stater Bros at Wincehster and Benton to pick up some fresh guacamole and some steaks for grilling.


As I was researching Stater Bros, I was impressed with the emphasis you place on the education of your employees, it is awesome to see a company making real investments in their employees and not just providing lip service to the benefits they offer.


This dedication to your employees can be seen in the way your employees interact and engage with your customers, they go out of the way to ensure that every trip to the grocery store is an experience to remember.


As you continue to invest and build your amazing culture, we at WorkJam hope to come alongside you and provide the tech to continue your commitment to providing a welcoming, inclusive, and respectful environment for your teams and customers.  


WorkJam works with a number of grocers around the world, including Woolworths, Target Australia, Drakes, and others. One grocer in particular, Cardeñas Markets (now Heritage Grocers Group), has become a close partner. I have had the opportunity to watch their frontline transformation. While no two grocers are the same, they place a similar emphasis on keeping their employees’ well-being at the forefront. Watching their tech transformation and their employee engagement transformation has been pretty cool.  


Below is a blog post I wrote about the six things that I have learned from Cardeñas while they implemented WorkJam.  






As Cardeñas was looking to build on their amazing culture, they knew they would need a tool that was able to enhance their reach. Previously their culture had been dictated by their store managers, who were able to build dynamic and engaged teams at the store level but what they were seeking was a way to better connect their stores with one another and connect the corporate offices to the stores. 


With WorkJam, they were able to equip their deskless employees with a digital frontline workplace. Now their frontline teams have a tool where they were able to access “all things Cardeñas” but also they were able to virtually tear down the walls of their stores and improve collaboration and culture between stores and the corporate office teams.  


Here are six things I learned from our work with Cardeñas: 


Eliminate Noise When your frontline workers feel heard, engagement goes up. When your office workers are able to send pertinent, timely, and crucial information to your frontlines, they feel heard. Up and down an organization, the ability to communicate with one another is vital to success.  


I also see a lot of noise in the way that communications are deliveredposters, POS notifications, manager meetings, one-off conversations, and more. This often results in conflicting messaging or the frontline employee feeling overwhelmed, leading them to ignore everything regardless of whether it is important and relevant to them or not.  


When Cardeñas implemented WorkJam, they were immediately able to customize messaging to their frontlines based off of role and location, as well as deliver bi-directional communications directly to the employee. Ensuring that the delivered messages are pertinent to the specific employee, decreasing the noise and ensuring relevance.  


Amplify Messages In addition to their ability to eliminate noise, the ability to amplify the message has been critical to improving engagement and has made recruitment easier. Cardeñas has a very diverse frontline demographic, with WorkJam each employee has been able to receive messages in their native language. The power of seeing notifications in the language you are comfortable with has made these employees feel like a crucial part of their operation. This has improved communication throughout the organization and increased engagement and retention, as each employee feels valued and seen.  


Consistency Matters Like our retail partners, Cardeñas also has SOPs and Planograms that they expect each individual store to comply with. In the past, they mailed directional packets that would be used to show a new shelf fixture, an endcap, or a new promotional fixture. Now, with WorkJam, they deliver these displays through their digital frontline workplace. This saves them time and money in printing and shipping costs while simultaneously reducing their carbon footprint. This also ensures that each store is getting the information that is most relevant to their location. As much as they try, Cardeñas doesn’t have a universally uniform store layout. With WorkJam, they are easily able to divide stores up by their unique layouts and ensure that the right store information is going to the right location, saving the marketing team, store managers, and the district managers time from clarifying what is relevant to each location 


Visibility is Essential WorkJam has literally increased visibility at the store level. When a new endcap is completed, or a new promotional feature is added, the employee completes their digital checklist by attaching a picture directly from their phone. This means that their district managers can verify that their stores have completed the new set from the comfort of their office, saving them miles of driving time visiting each location.  


Work is Important but so is FunWorkJam is great for business, it increases productivity, engagement, and retention but what is work without a little fun? 


From pet channels to theme days, Cardeñas is using WorkJam to engage their employees beyond the walls of their storeIf an employee wants to show off their new kitten or they grew extra tomatoes to give out, they have dedicated channels that go beyond work and inject fun into their culture. They are also using Channels to increase collaboration across locations and communicate best practices. Their Tortilleria workers have a channel where they are able to show off their latest huaraches and sopes, the deli managers share new displays and sales techniques. As COO Prabash Coswatte says, “Iron sharpens iron, team members take a lot of pride in the work they do and like to share it with other stores.” 


Increasing fun has made good business sense for Cardeñas. As the fun quotient has been raised, so too has engagement and retention, leading to increased profits and decreased costs. 


Work and Life Time Cardeñas found that although their employees enjoy their work, they did not want to feel like they were on-the-job or on-call at all times. They wanted the ability to leave work at work and in turn have a life outside of their job.  


With WorkJam, Cardeñas employees are able to have a healthy work-life balance. If an employee is not on the clock or not in the store, they will not receive notifications about the daily check-ins, task lists, trainings, or meetings. However, they are still able to receive important information regarding their schedule or available open shifts.  


The ability to separate work time and life time has made the employees more productive on the job, improved morale, and created a better balance for the frontlines


As Cardeñas continues to make investments in their frontline employees, I am confident that they will continue to see their employees engaged in the success of their stores–increasing customer satisfaction, profitability, and retention. 


I am excited at the prospect to continue to learn from our partners, taking their insights and ensuring that our product is meeting their needs, but I am also excited to continue to work with new collaborators. I hope that we can talk soon about the unique needs of Stater Bros.

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