A small, locally-owned workplace culture

 

Blog - Great Place to Work - June 13, 2012

A small, locally-owned workplace culture

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Spotlight on Cole Hardware

I have the pleasure of living a mere two blocks away from Cole Hardware, one of four stores located in San Francisco. Cole Hardware is an excellent example of a small, locally-owned business that has created an exceptional workplace culture and drives revenue as a direct result.

To give you a hint of the consumer experience provided at Cole Hardware, I’ll walk you through an average visit:

First, I love the window display. It is constantly changing and usually color coded- literally a rainbow of household items. It is clear that employees are encouraged to be creative and that they enjoy doing so. By incorporating creativity into the workplace culture, items seem more enticing and I always end up with an additional item or two in my basket than I initially intended on buying.

Second, employees are more than just friendly, employees are knowledgeable! Every month or so I get an idea in my head and spend an entire weekend working on a home improvement project. The first place I go, Cole Hardware. They have the expertise I need in selecting the method, tools, etc. necessary to accomplish any task, and with their help I have done wonders in both my home and garden.

Third, employees really care about the customer. A great example of this is that the cashier always gives my dog a treat. Now, every time I walk down the street to grab a cup of coffee, my dog pulls the leash and tries to get me to go into Cole Hardware. And it works! I sometimes follow her in and take a look around to see if I need anything.

Cole Hardware knows that investing in a workplace culture that is creative, supportive and fun is a sound business strategy. All this adds up to much more than just a store, it creates an experience. And if the experience is great, you can count on customers to come back for more. I have been a loyal customer to Cole Hardware for years and I will continue to do so as long as they create a fun workplace culture, for employees and customers alike.


You can read more about the leadership behind Cole Hardware’s exceptional workplace culture in the new blog post Small Business Success Story, written by Amy Lyman, Co-Founder of Great Place to Work® and author of the book The Trustworthy Leader. The Trustworthy Leader provides insight into the great leaders behind Best Companies REI, Mayo Clinic, General Mills, and more. Her book recently received a rave review in T&D Magazine.

Tiffany Barber is the Associate Manager of Marketing and Communications and guest blogger for Great Place to Work®.

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