Page 2: Building a team
Argos also continues to work at building what it calls its 'employer brand' - a clear set of values representing the attitudes and beliefs of its employees. In 2003, after consultations with staff, these values were stated as:
- change makes us better and more successful
- we are impatient to win
- as much opportunity as you can handle
- where teams work.
The new management team have managed to recreate an Argos culture that:
- believes in winning
- believes that change is important and necessary
- seeks new opportunities
- encourages co-operation.
Values such as these have played a vital part in improving the firm's competitiveness through innovation and through working effectively together.
To achieve such a cultural change, Argos provides on the job and off the job training, career development opportunities and appropriate rewards for good performance. For example, new employees take intranet-based training tests on key areas such as customer service and shopping at Argos and every employee's progress is tracked through the different training modules.
New employees are assigned a 'buddy' who helps them to become familiar with the business. After their induction training all employees are set performance objectives. Their performance is then monitored on a regular basis and discussed in appraisal sessions with their line managers.
Argos also provides opportunities for individuals to progress within the business; over 80% of all Argos retail management appointments are internal. Performance is rewarded not just through competitive basic pay levels but also through numerous bonus and incentive schemes that are used to encourage high levels of sales and good customer service. The company has widespread recognition schemes such as Simply Thank You and MAD (Made A Difference) to acknowledge employee performance and to motivate staff.
In 2003, the company's work was formally recognised by Retail Week magazine when the company won the 'Retailer of the Year' award.