Open lines of communication
equal success for SEG’s frontline
Southeastern Grocers is one of the largest brick-and-mortar grocers in the US, with over 400 stores and 35,000 associates organization-wide. Despite the complexities of their diverse and dispersed workforce, their recent “culture transformation” to re-engage an increasingly skeptical workforce has earned them a Great Place to Work certification and has even inspired a case study by the Harvard School of Business.
How do they maintain their success? Keeping their frontline highly informed with timely and relevant communications is a big factor.
“We know that our associates work really hard on the sales floor in our stores, and it can be very challenging to reach them,” says Claudia Laura, Sr. Manager of Content Design and Development at Southeastern Grocers. “With Axonify’s broadcast messages, we are able to get in touch with our associates whenever we need, and we can reach every single one of them.”
Now Southeastern Grocers’ associates are more engaged and connected than ever, openly sharing honest and constructive feedback with their team leaders about how to better serve their customers.
More than just another LMS
When they first partnered with Axonify, Southeastern Grocers’ goal was to use the platform to help fulfill their hefty onboarding, regulatory, leadership and soft skill training needs. But they quickly realized a value beyond checking training boxes: communication.
“One of the very important needs that Axonify helps us with aside from training is communication,” states Laura. “It has been a key factor and the main tool that we have used to communicate with our associates. With an open channel for asking for and receiving feedback, we have been able to establish certain points and get information that is very valuable.”
They’ve put an end to bulletin board updates and the broken telephone dynamic for good, so their employees get the right messages and updates on the devices they use every day. Associates log into Axonify during every shift, making it the perfect place to share new information—or ask for it.
“Twice a year, we send a survey that is called ‘We are listening’ via broadcast messages. Associates are very generous with their feedback and letting us know what they want, what they would like to see, what they don’t like. And we have used that information to transform our culture as a result. Leadership trust has gone from 59 to 89 per cent. Our culture transformation is now a case study in the Harvard School of Business. And we’ve been certified as a Great Place to Work.”
Any feedback is good feedback
Southeastern Grocers’ associates are the face of their organization, interacting with customers and living the realities of the grocery frontline day-to-day. So they’re a great resource to learn from about what’s next in the industry.
“For us, it’s very important to be connected with our associates and to listen loudly, ask for feedback. Of course, you are always wanting and expecting positive feedback, but even if it’s not positive, it is constructive feedback,” says Laura.
“Take an action, just listen, and understand what the needs are and what are the gaps that you need to fill. Associates are extremely open and very generous when they are sending their feedback. And if you are not receiving any feedback that also tells you that maybe they are not as engaged as they should be. So, if you don’t receive any feedback, make a change.”