In 2009, Safelite AutoGlass set a lofty goal for itself: double business to $1 billion in the next four years.
The company realized it needed to change its approach to employee engagement if it was going to achieve its objective.
"In years past, Safelite didn't regularly consider people as a key part of their business strategy," wrote Natalie Crede, Safelite's vice president of talent development, on the company's entry form. "That's not to say people didn't matter. But thinking about people strategically in terms of leveraging talent and engagement to grow the business was not in practice."
Safelite's executives charged the company's human resources department with launching a business initiative to develop talent and engage workers as a way to drive growth. In response to this policy shift, Steve Miggo, senior vice president of human resources, created Safelite's People First plan.
Launched in 2009, People First places heavy emphasis on driving business results through an "obsessive focus on having talented people who are inspired to deliver great results," he says. "The only way we can stand out is if we have the best people, not the best glass."
The plan is based on what Safelite identifies as its six core competencies—ideas such as "creating customer delight" and "be innovative"—which were derived from existing company culture and the ideal company Safelite hoped to become. Safelite views its company values as integral to creating a caring culture where employees have an opportunity to grow.
As part of People First, Safelite instituted a leadership development program, which gives its nearly 1,000 managers easy access to 75 e-learning courses. The online courses allow managers to develop any core competency they believe they might be lacking. Safelite's additional 9,000 employees are also given access to monthly e-learning courses designed to develop employee understanding of the core competencies.
For its creative People First initiative designed to engage employees and drive business growth, Safelite AutoGlass is the winner of the 2012 Optimas Award for Competitive Advantage.
Max Mihelich is Workforce's intern. Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Workforce Management, November 2012, p. 27 -- Subscribe Now!