Four years ago Byggmax made a major investment in managers.This investment has shown clear results with increased profitability and high employee engagement.
"Our leadership is about being an enabler and constantly learning", says Marcus Essesjö, Swedish manager.
When Marcus Essesjö, Sweden manager at Byggmax, looks back on the past six months, it is with mixed feelings. The Corona pandemic, like most other companies, has brought about changes and challenges. The hardware stores have been equipped with safety glass, distance markings and new handbags, among other things. In addition, customers over 70 years are offered free home delivery. All to make both employees and customers feel safe and secure. And it has been needed. For sales have gone like the train.
"The second week in March, when the Public Health Agency went out with recommendations to stay at home, then it exploded with us", says Marcus Essesjö.
It is no secret that the "stay at home" effect has created a huge demand for DIY stores. For Byggmax, however, it is not just sales that have increased. Employee involvement has also been at a record high.
"We have never had such good engagement as this summer. The employees have felt it was more fun than usual. We see this clearly in our pulses with &frankly", says Marcus Essesjö.
The basis for increased engagement is that employees in the stores have been able to contribute in concrete and specific ways. They have been the very core of sales, which has created a strong "wow" feeling, participation and increased pride. That Byggmax managed to adapt so quickly to the corona challenges is really about something that was started four years ago: extensive strategy work and a major investment in the managers.
"As a company, we have gone from 'asking the manager' to giving responsibility as far out in the organization as possible. This has made us a very learning focused organization today. If something goes wrong, we talk about it and move on. Of course we have lots of control systems along the way, but we never stop anything in advance. Instead, we let failure happen and try to learn from the situation. I think this has contributed to the high level of engagement that we have today.
5 investments that have had an effect on profitability and engagement
- Clearer responsibility and decisions
“Every employee and manager has a mandate to decide for themselves how something should be done. We have also clarified more clearly what the role of site managers should be and focused on people and service. "
- New salary and bonus system
"We have gone from a narrower KPI-related bonus system to one that includes everything that affects the store's profitability. In addition, the bonus is now more connected with how it goes for the whole region. It has created a strong team spirit."
- New trainings
“We have invested a lot of time and resources in training for employees. Our employees have never been so well trained. "
- More leaders
“We have hired more leaders. In Sweden, there have been between five and nine regional managers. It has created a closer leadership where you are seen more often. "
- Better follow-up system
"Regardless of which KPIs it is about (eg engagement), today we have systems where managers can easily and efficiently follow up negative trends, see problems and come up with responses."
In Sweden, Byggmax currently has 115 stores and employs around 800 people. Previously, they worked with traditional employee surveys. For about a year now, all surveys have been made with &frankly.
"It started with the fact that we had a need to measure more frequently to really be able to see how people feel. In addition, we lacked a way to follow up the initiatives we made based on the employee survey", says Marcus Essesjö.
Every six weeks, they send out the question pulse "Engagement KPI". It provides a clear "here and now" position on the engagement of the organization. In parallel, they also send out questions about how to experience the communication from management.
"It turned out that the employees wanted more information, so we launched some initiatives that we follow up with this pulse, says Marcus Essesjö.
Engagement can mean many different things. At Byggmax, the concept is associated with both initiative and energy. Pethra Bodotter, HR manager, would immediately think of an employee in Simrishamn who recorded a music video about his job as site manager.
"This both is and creates even more engagement. Not least, it will create a boost in her particular workplace. I think it is great precisely because it is not so pretentious", says Pethra Bodotter.
Marcus Essesjö agrees and believes that it is when everyone runs in the same direction that the magic happens.
"I think that engagement is also a combination of having clear daily, weekly, and yearly goals at Byggmax. And that employees have the energy to reach them.
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