Part 1 of our new series:
5 Tips for Happy Customers, Engaged Employees and Business Success
In this series, we highlight Pet Food Express, a healthy and holistic pet supply store in northern California. Relatively small compared to the big national chains, PFE operates 60 stores that reliably provide superior customer service, year after year. Employee engagement and retention are extremely high, with new employees defecting from competitors to work for PFE. Competitors have tried to copy them, but failed.
In his presentation at the 2016 Arbinger Facilitator Conference, COO Terry Lim described five principles that we believe have enabled PFE to achieve such consistent performance across its enterprise:
- Role modeling begins at the very top
- Mistakes are the manager’s responsibility first
- Tell the truth because you care
- Make the right thing to do the easiest thing to do
- Embed the culture so deeply that nobody thinks about it
In this series, we highlight each practice in turn. The first is role modeling.
At Pet Food Express, leaders – from executives to store managers – do an amazing job of walking their talk.
- They are in stores, on the front lines, making sure they’re seen and accessible to employees and customers alike.
- They show they are people, too: They share their struggles, highlight their mistakes, and ask for feedback.
- They pitch in. They ask, “How can I help?” and consider nothing beneath them.
Through the senior leaders’ role modeling, this mindset has trickled down through the organization to the front line employees and, through them, to customers. Role modeling has laid a foundation for amazing service organization-wide.