Blue Ridge Mountain respite
Good morning from the cold yet gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia. I’m working out of my mountain house for a couple of days before hitting the road for business for most of the next two weeks. I like to think of this as “taking the better with the good.” I’m having a Venti Starbucks dark French Roast and a sausage biscuit. What are you having for breakfast?
Business seeing red over proposed NLRB rule changes
Good analysis in this article covering proposed NLRB election rule changes from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The rule change is opposed by corporate lawyer organizations and business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has organized its own “Workforce Freedom Initiative.”
In a statement about the issue, the chamber said the new rule allows unions to quietly go about organizing employees without informing employers of the effort, then spring the election on employers.
“Cutting short the election period favors unions by limiting employers’ free speech rights and preventing workers from hearing both sides of the story,” the chamber’s statement reads. “Under the new rule, employers will then have a very limited window to discuss unionizing.”
Greenfield North Carolina store for Publix
Most of you know I rarely write about my employer, Publix Super Markets. Frankly, I wish I could write about the good stuff we do more often, but I can’t. I was a blogger before I started working for them, and when they hired, we made an informal agreement that I would keep blogging, but I wouldn’t write about Publix very often, and especially as it relates to business and HR strategy.
I’m breaking that a little bit today for a very good reason. I want to share a little bit of personal/professional pride with you. As we say at Publix, today I’m bleeding green.
On February 26, 2014, Publix reached a huge milestone. We opened our first new store in the state of North Carolina, when we opened the doors of store #1442 in the Ballantyne area of Charlotte. We open new stores all the time, but we rarely move into a new state, so this was a huge deal for us. There was huge anticipation from Publix customers, who have been begging us to open stores in North Carolina for years.
The grand opening was a smashing success. There was a live tv broadcast. We had many visiting VIP guests at the store, and at the media event on the preceding day. We had visits from many executives from competing grocers. Customers thronged to the store all day. We even had a clown.
That’s not what interested me though. As usual, I was interested in the people. I spent the day walking the floor at the store, or out in the parking lot recovering carts. It provided plenty of time to chat with customers, our associates, and even the SVP HR of a retail competitor who visited the store. I’ll put some of the bigger conversation into another blog tomorrow, but here was the gist of what I heard.
Customers: “I’ve missed the friendly Publix people so much since I left Florida/Georgia/Tennessee. I couldn’t wait to get back to one of your stores near where I live. I’m so excited! Your employees are just as friendly and cheerful as I remember. How do you do it?”
Associates from a blended staff of experienced transfers and new hires: ” I’m so blessed to get the opportunity to work for a company like Publix, and to transfer back to my home, and open such a great new store! I’m from Miami, but my husband and I always wanted to live in the mountains, and now here we are. My four weeks with Publix have been the best work experience I’ve ever had; even the training was fun. I don’t know they did it, but they made opening this store fun.”
Think about the end of each of those sections:
“How do you do it?”
“I don’t know how they did it..”
I’m about to reveal huge proprietary secrets. You should take note. I don’t do this every day. The secret is….
Wait. I’m wrong. Actually, I do use the secret I am about to reveal. I use it every day. So does every Publix manager.
Here it is:
1. Credibility. I say what I mean, and I do what I say.
2. Opportunity. We provide jobs with the chance to grow and develop, just like in Charlotte.
3. Recognition. We reward good performance in a variety of ways.
4. Ownership. Every Publix employee has a chance to become a shareholder. We have skin in the game, and a regard for mutual interests. What I do, or fail to do affects my fellow owners. They are not just my co-workers.
There’s more, but I can’t give away ALL the secret sauce.
That’s how we do it at Publix.