Hardware Retailing

NOV 2018

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

Issue link: http://www.hardwareretailingarchive.com/i/1043285

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Page 54 of 80

"We had a mission statement for the business, but I didn't think it went far enough," Ziegler says. "I think mission statements can be a little too broad. We really wanted to make our business's focus meaningful and something people can understand." After collaborating with his management team, Ziegler unveiled the business's official noble purpose: "Our team develops trusting relationships with our neighbors by helping them find everyday solutions for their home and business." "Employees can use the noble purpose every day," he says. "They can ask themselves, 'Did I work to develop trusting relationships with my customers today?' and know immediately whether that happened." Ziegler says the noble purpose served his entire team well as it embarked on the journey to open the company's most recent store, its ninth location, which opened in Bartlett, Illinois, in February 2017. "That was the first store I've opened, so there was a lot of learning that went into that process," he says. "But I had an excellent team around me and they really helped me out. We took things one piece at a time and got things done together." With so many locations in the area, the business is always hiring new employees. Once a month, the company holds an orientation for new employees to introduce them to the company's noble purpose. It's also a chance to explain how they can use it to guide their in-store decision-making. Ziegler also believes in empowering his employees by arming them with in-depth product knowledge to best serve customers. Each year, Ziegler selects one area of the business where his employees will receive additional training. In the past, Ziegler Ace employees have taken a deep dive into plumbing and electrical, and in 2017, the stores' employees focused on business-to-business sales. Ziegler says he is still drawing on his experience outside hardware and home improvement to guide his operation forward. He says his best bosses outside the home improvement industry motivated other employees to follow their example. They never demanded respect; they earned it, he says. "I try to lead by example," he says. "I want my employees to feel comfortable coming to me to discuss whatever's on their mind. I have an open-door policy, and I love talking to my employees to encourage them." " I want my employees to feel comfortable coming to me to discuss whatever's on their mind. I have an open-door policy, and I love talking to my employees to encourage them. " —Adam Ziegler, Ziegler's Ace Hardware Stay Transparent A few years ago, Ziegler made meeting minutes available for employees of all levels to review. Ziegler says this small gesture is one way to inform his entire staff about the business and encourage them to invest fully in its success. HARDWARE RETAILING | November 2018 50 Adam Ziegler says all business owners should develop a noble purpose to give guidance and support to employees.

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