Are your employees product
experts? Or do they shrug their shoulders and say, “I just work here?”
Imagine an organization
where even the cashiers are wine experts, and employees get significant input
into their schedule, to suit their respective needs (school, full time careers,
At Everything Wine, in Vancouver,
Canada, even the cashiers are wine experts, and other parts of their lives are
taken into consideration when developing their schedules. Is this any way to
run a company, and be successful? It is, according to Paul Clinton, the founder
and CEO of Everything Wine, in Vancouver, B.C.
Three years ago, after
retiring as President of Diageo, Paul purchased two small retail wine stores,
and turned them two into wine super stores. He’s now planning on opening a
third store at the end of July.
Superstores are nothing
new. We have Costco, Wal-Mart, and BevMo. Wine tasting is nothing new either in
wineries and upscale retail wine establishments. But when have you been in a
superstore where you could not only taste the wine, but also take a class on
wine in the store? When have you been in a superstore where every employee not
only knew the location of every product, but also was able to ask you the right
questions and help you determine exactly which product was right for you?
“We are passionate about
providing outstanding selection, service, and value to our customers.” Paul
told me. “Every employee goes through wine education. We want our employees to
have a good time, and look forward to coming to work, and we want our customers
to have a good time, and enjoy doing business with us.”
Like other dynamic
leaders Paul Clinton knows that breakthrough service is only possible by
developing breakthrough relationships with employees.
Paul said, “The more
knowledgeable employees become about our wines, the more opportunities they
have to grow in the organization.
I often speak and write
about the fact that in today’s world economy, employees need to feel that they
are part of a community for how ever many hours they are at work, and that
customers like to feel a sense of community and that they are receiving
differentiated service where they do business.
In order for employees to
be fully engaged and successful, they need to be able to use their talents and
skills at work, and customers need to know that they are appreciated and
welcomed as individuals.
This is how employers
retain their best employees and how customers not only stay loyal but also
become evangelical about your business.
This appears to be
working well at Everything Wine because business is growing. “We have husbands
and wives, and sons and daughters that work here together, says Clinton and we
take pride in spreading the positive vibes.
I always feel uplifted
when I speak with leaders like Paul Clinton who demonstrate their appreciation
for employees, as well as
customers. They develop and implement policies, procedures and actions that include people at all level, so employees love
to be there, and customers love to come back.