Published on: February 19, 2015
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Hi, Kevin Coupe here, and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy, coming to you this week from Southern California where, I'm pleased to say, the temperatures definitely are not way below freezing and there isn't any snow un the ground. In other words, it is nothing like home.
While I've been here, I've been thinking about the move by Haggen into California as it grows from just 18 stores to more than 160 ... a result of it acquiring stores being divested because of the Albertsons acquisition of Safeway. Now, I'm not here today to pass judgement on the deal, or to prognosticate one way or the other ... suffice it to say that there are people out there who think that Haggen can be successful in its new strategy, and people who are, to put it mildly, skeptical.
What I do want to talk about is one of the rules from my "Retail Rules" book - the one about the most important people in any retail organization being the ones on the front lines. It is my sense, from having talked to a bunch of retailers, is that Haggen is very interested in building its front line bench as it expands, that it doesn't want to limit itself to just the folks it inherits from Albertsons and Safeway. if you are a retailer with good people working for you, those people may be in play right now. They may be getting calls from headhunters. They may be sending out resumes. And you may be about the lose some important assets.
What does this mean? Well, for one thing, I think it means that if you want to keep these people, it is time to start showing some appreciation. I'm not talking about money here, though, of course, that's important. No, I'm talking about all the other things, tangible and intangible, that lets people know that they are important, even critical, to your team. That they are an investment, not a cost. That you want them to feel invested in your company. That they are critical to your company's future.
If they don't feel that way, they may decide to go elsewhere, to someplace where they think they may.
And then the dominoes will continue to fall, because you're going to have to replace those people. Which will put even more people into play. (From a selfish point of view, by the way, I'm okay with this. MNB has a terrific executive search firm as a sponsor, and while I have no idea if they've been part of all this movement, I suspect they might be seeing some business out of it all. Which will make them happy. If they're happy, I'm happy.)
Y'know that old expression about how it is easier to keep an existing customer than to get a new one? I wonder if there is a corollary to that rule - that it is easier to keep a great employee than to find that next great employee.
This may be the moment to make some important decisions about the future of your company. Because there are other companies out there making important decisions about the future of theirs.
That's what is on my mind this Thursday morning. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind.
- KC's View: