By. LaRon Ballard Store 165 Merrillville, IN Summary: In order to continue to be a successful supercenter in today’s age, Meijer must make sure that its team members work to the best of their abilities. Team members are the people that have made Meijer the company that it has become today, and will be the people who will continue to help Meijer grow into the future. In order to put more emphasis and appreciation into the job in which is bestowed upon team members, Meijer has come up with a program to ensure that both emphasis and appreciation of the job is being met.
This program is known as the Remarkable Program. A man by the name of Fred Meijer once said, “A manager’s job is not to prove how smart he or she is. It’s to bring the best out of our associates. Treat them with human dignity”. I personally believe that this is the reasoning behind the remarkable program. The Remarkable Program was started to recognize team members for doing an exceptional job for Meijer and its customers. It was also implemented to improve store environment, as well as improve communication between leadership and team members.
The idea is that team members and team leaders receive a “You are Remarkable” card and get 4 signatures from team leaders to fill the card. The only way team members receive a signature is when a person in a leadership position i. e. Store Directors, Line Leaders, Team leaders see the member doing something “above and beyond”. Once team members get 4 signatures, they enter their card into a fishbowl which is used for a drawing at the end of the period for a chance to win either by a drawing or most cards for the period. Both winners will receive a $20 gift card.
A photo is also taken of the winners and posted on the wall in the backroom by the break rooms for everyone to see. Though this seems like a great idea on paper, some things can be revised to enhance the potential of the Remarkable Program. Problem: In order to get a better grasp of enhancing the remarkable program, I conducted my own survey. This survey asked certain questions pertaining to the remarkable program such as “How do you feel about the Remarkable Program? ” I also looked at team member feedback on the remarkable portal page to see what the main issues are.
Here are some comments from the survey and the portal page regarding how team members feel about the program: * “Not consistently utilized. Very often associates go out of their way to assist guest – yet are not recognized,” 2 ? yr Team Member (survey) * “It’s a good program, as a Team Leader I don’t get mine signed a lot,” 11yr Team Leader (survey) * “The program is very well thought out, but TL tell you don’t throw that card in my face all the time,” 11yr Team Member (survey) * “Seems like all comments I receive are on what I didn’t do not what I did do,” 3yr Team Leader (survey) * “Do not understand the program” 2 ? r Team Member (survey) * “I feel this program is unfair. I am always stopping my planograms to help guest and I never see a team leader around to see me do a good deed,” Anonymous Team Member (Portal page) * “With the lack of team leaders actually present in the store it is hard for team members to get recognized. Only twice have I actually been stopped and had my card signed. Many other team members feel the same way. We are remarkable each and everyday, but few Team Leaders will actually stop to tell you so. Anonymous Team Member (Portal page) The consensus that I got from reviewing the portal page and survey comments is that leadership does not always see the Remarkable things that team members do. This is a common and understandable issue that could be at Meijer stores because individuals who hold leadership positions are very busy with their own job responsibilities. With leadership being busy, it is nearly impossible for them to be everywhere in the store at any given moment to observe what a team member has done that is considered remarkable.
There are also times when a person in a leadership position may see a remarkable thing being done, but may not realize it due to the fact that they may have so much on their agenda. Considering the fact that when working in a supercenter there are a lot of plans and tasks that need to be resolved, signing a card may be the last thing on a leaders mind. Other issues that I feel are limiting the potential of the Remarkable Program is the amount awarded and the process in which they are given out at the end of each period.
According to some comments on the Remarkable portal page, people feel: “$20 is not worth the hassle of finding a team leader to show them that he or she is doing a good job” Anonymous Team Member (Portal page). During these hard economic times, two $20 Meijer gift cards given at the end of each Meijer fiscal period (every 4 weeks), is not enough to motivate team members to work towards winning this prize. People tend to lose interest in something that is not appealing to them and once people begin to lose interest, they to stop caring.
As a company, we do not want our team members to stop caring about a program that is meant to show recognition for the things they do. Once that starts to happen, team members are not as motivated to perform to the best of his or her abilities. When team members do not work to the best of their abilities, things tend to either get half done or not done at all. These two issues can be easily revised to bring out the best in team members as well as enhance the true meaning behind the Remarkable Program. Solution:
The best way to approach an issue within a company is to ask the people involved. In this case, the best way to enhance a program that benefits team members and leaders, is to ask them how they feel about the issue and what they would do to improve the issue. By using the survey I conducted as well as the comments team members have made on the Remarkable portal page, I have grouped some of the responses on how to improve the program: Survey Question: How would you suggest Meijer improve the Remarkable Program? * “Empower more to sign”, 11yr Team Leader (survey) “By making the reward a little different or maybe adding to it”, 2 months Team Member (survey) * “Put every associate’s name in the fish bowl for the drawing- it would improve morale and therefore improve customer service”, 2 ? yr Team Member (survey) * “Give a chance to each of the individuals”, 10yr Team Member (survey) * “SD’s (Store Directors) & SDIC(Store Directors in Charge) pay attention to the work you have accomplished” 3yr Team Leader (survey) * “If two guest give a great remark Team Leader should sign the card off” 11yr Team Member (survey) * I think it would be a good idea to also post which Team Leaders are making the commitment to watch and sign the card when we do something remarkable. Seem like it is always the same team leaders who sign and a lot who don’t ever, might be incentive for them to continue and the others to join in. ” Anonymous Team Member (Portal page) * “I feel there should be four different TL signatures on a card. Anonymous Team Member (Portal page) * “Year after party for the store who has the most remarkable cards filled out and received, Special recognition for the individual who has most cards turned from store (Company dinner, like one we have for ten+ years seniority people or with it), plaques, parking spots, special limited privileges (TL for a day; free week of vacation.. ), Dinner with the leadership. ” Anonymous Team Member (Portal page).
These are all some good ideas that could indeed improve the program. To solve the issue of people with leadership positions not always seeing the remarkable deeds done by team members, I propose that we have more than just leadership people be able to sign cards. Let us have the two main groups of people that really keep the Meijer Corporation going be able to sign cards, which are Meijer team members and Meijer customers.
According to the “ Ask Rhonda Remarkable” section(an area where team members can ask questions about the Remarkable Program) on the Remarkable portal page starting in March 2009, SC’s(Service Coordinator), CEC’s(Customer Experience Coordinator), GPC’s(Grocery Production Coordinator), TLA’s(Team Leader Assistant) , and head baristas will be able to sign cards. This is a good start to solving the “not seeing all remarkable things done” issue, but not a permanent solution.
Team members are the ones who are always working along side one another, so they will be able to see all the things that leadership are not able to see due to the busyness of their schedule. By having team members sign each others cards (not their own) you increase positive behavior in the store as well as help develop leadership skills . Not only can they sign each others cards, but they can also sign Team Leaders cards considering team leaders, may not get their card signed enough due to the fact that other team leaders may be too busy to sign team leader cards as well.
A way to encourage team members to sign cards is by having a small quota of cards they have to sign and making a friendly competition out of it. For example, let’s say team members have to at least sign 10 cards a day by the end of their shift. A way for them to keep track of how many they sign is by assigning manual clickers to team members. Who ever has the most clicks by the end of their shift gets an extra signature to their card. If members do not meet their quota, then they lose a signature. This will increase the competitive nature within the store.
The only repercussions that can come from team members signing team member cards is that they may be signing each others cards just to better their chances to win the prize given. A way to prevent this issue would be to randomly assign different team members each day from all areas to be able to sign member cards. There you can prevent cards being signed for the wrong reasons, but at the same time still have team members signing cards so a lot of the remarkable things can still be seen. Another thing that can improve the program is by having customers sign team member cards.
Customers already have the opportunity to leave remarks about team members once they go home and complete the survey. Sometimes customers may completely forget about doing the survey once they get home because things can come up that are obviously way more important than leaving a comment for a team member at a store. Having customers sign team members and leaders cards, will be a great way to improve customer service as well as improve the Remarkable program because they will see the service right as it is happening and be obliged to help the team member who helped them.
The best way to communicate this idea to the customer would be through store signs, online ads, paper ads etc. No one else can see all the remarkable things done by team members like the customers. They are the people who are being helped 99% of the time. This process could benefit both team members as well as customers because it can show team members that customers appreciate their service as well as show customers that team members give great customer service.
To solve this issue of keeping team members motivated to work to the best of their abilities, I propose that we change up the selection process as well as the prize to something bigger and more rewarding. The more rewarding a prize is, the harder a person will work towards getting that prize. If the solutions above are implemented, then the prizes as well as the drawing procedures need to be adjusted to ensure that people feel that the prize is worthy of their actions. First there should be two separate cards each team member should have.
There will be one for team members to sign and one for customers to sign, so we can tell the difference from who signed the card. Each card can be entered into a fishbowl for a chance to win the prize for either the team member remarkable card, or the customer remarkable card. Instead of just having a drawing at the end of each period, there should be a weekly drawing for both cards. For example, whoever has the most cards at the end of the week gets a $25 gift card. There should be two new winners every week in the period.
Now the winners of the weekly drawing for both cards will be entered into another drawing (which will be chosen at random this time) held at the end of the period for another $25 gift card. For weekly winners to increase their chances at the period prize they can still enter in their cards the only difference is that their cards will go directly to the period drawing fishbowl. Each period should still have two winners, one for the team member card, and one for the customer card, but the format will be a little bit different.
Then at the end of the year, all of the period winners for each card can be entered in one last end of the year drawing to be the overall team member remarkable winner and overall customer remarkable winner. The idea is that each time you win you qualify yourself to win an even greater prize. This increases a competitive environment within the store to try and get the most cards in a week because it then produces a recurring cycle of team members working to the best of their ability. The budget for these prizes will be a lot more than $40 per period, but the more money put into something the more you get out of it.
By having more people able to sign cards and having more prizes to motivate them to get their cards signed, the program will show its true potential. Results: If the solutions provided above are implemented, there will be will a lot of noticeable changes within the store. Since there are more people signing cards, more people will get recognized for the good job they have done. With more people getting recognized the work environment changes; it will become friendlier as well as competitive due to the reward for doing a great job.
Also there will be a decrease in customer complaints, which will increase the daily customer survey scores considering most of the questions involve team members in some kind of way. Whether its how they have worked or how friendly they were. The Remarkable Program should bring the following domino effect; starting with happy team members, happy team members make happy customers, happy customers continue to shop at and refer others to Meijer, more happy customers shop at Meijer, and then sales increase.
By enhancing the program just a little, brings the company a step closer to that domino effect which ends in increase of sales. Here is a simplified graph of the Remarkable program works before implementing solutions and after implementing solutions: Who can sign cards? | Team Leaders, Lines Leaders, RAA, Store Director | All Store Members, Customers | How often are drawings held? | End of each period (every 4 weeks) | Weekly in each period (every week), at end of period, possibly end of year. | What amount is awarded? Two $20 gift cards ($40 per period) | Suggested amount: Two $10 gift cards each week, Two $15 gift card at end of period($110 per period) | Before After Sustaining results: The simplest way to sustain your results is to continue enhancing the Remarkable Program. It was a great idea to begin with and by adding on to it, the program will become better which brings better results. Continuing to improve the recognition of team members will in turn continue to improve customer service, which then improves sales.
As long as team members feel appreciated through the Remarkable Program, they will continue to work to the best of his or her ability. With the team members working to the best of his or her ability, Meijer will continue to grow and will have a great future ahead. Enhancing the Remarkable Program From a Team Member Perspective Survey Questions * How long have you been with Meijer? * * * * Do you know what the Remarkable Program at Meijer is? If yes, do you understand how it works? * * * * * * How do you feel about the Remarkable Program?
Does it make you feel appreciated by Meijer? If not why? * * * * * Have you ever won a prize from the Remarkable Program? If yes, was it worthy enough of your actions? * * * * * * How would you suggest Meijer improve the Remarkable Program? * * * * * * Do you know what the Customer Friendly scores are? If yes, do you think the Remarkable Program is a positive or negative effect on the scores? * * * * * * How would you suggest Meijer improve the Remarkable Program to increase the Customer Friendly scores?