The Business of Sparkle

Expert Advice from our COO, Mary

Whether you are a new or established entrepreneur, it is no secret that a unique business culture is a challenging, but crucial component of your business. Hillberg & Berk COO, Mary, has a few pieces of advice for all entrepreneurs about how to foster a culture of excellence.

To create a culture of excellence:

Step #1 - Focus on the Customer

Create a simple, concise customer service vision statement to help guide your employees through a variety of scenarios. I can still recall the statement of one of my first jobs as a lifeguard: "From the womb to the tomb." With this phrase, I knew, plain and simple, that my job was to focus on bringing members in and keeping them there for life.

Step #2 - Sparkle with a Purpose

At Hillberg & Berk, we have a mantra that tells our customers and our staff that there is a greater purpose to what we do. I have watched our employees turn into amazing leaders, passionate mentors and fierce protectors of our company culture just by providing the opportunity to be a part of something greater than themselves.

Step #3 - Start at the Beginning

It can be easy to take front-line staff for granted and I encourage you to not only give these employees the credit they deserve, but also capture the opportunity to learn from them. Your customer experience begins and ends with the front-line staff and it is important to take a walk in their shoes on a regular basis.

Step #4 - Hire people, not positions

Getting caught up in what positions you need can sometimes disconnect you from what your team is missing. Instead of focusing on core competencies and skills, become more flexible in your approach. Identify the strengths of your team and find people that will not only complement those strengths, but also fill missing gaps.

Step #5 - Feed Me

This is the most important step (and my favourite). Although you might think I mean feed my soul or feed my mind, I literally mean feed me. Whether it’s a popsicle, a coffee, a cinnamon bun, or a healthy lunch, nothing says I love you and appreciate you quite like food.