Page 1: Changing the culture at Argos
A company's culture is based on the values and beliefs that are shared across the organisation. It is challenging yet essential to ensure the organisation's culture reflects its strategy and focus on the customer. A key element of the new approach has been to change the corporate culture at Argos and build an environment within the firm that values:
- customer service which focuses providing an experience that is enjoyable and friendly as well as efficient
- teamwork, because this leads to greater co-operation and the sharing of best practice
- taking ownership for decisions so that managers solve problems themselves rather than pass them on to others
- respecting each other so that everyone feels they can contribute
- having the competitive will to win so that everyone is aiming to improve and to succeed.
The commitment of Argos employees to these values seems extremely high: in its 2003 Speak Out employee survey, the company found that among its employees:
- 82% believe the company wants to beat its competitors
- 74% believe strong teamwork is a major contributor to the Argos performance
- 77% believe the business is customer focused.
At the heart of these changes is a culture of effective communication through which employees know what they are supposed to be doing and what the business as a whole is aiming to achieve.
Around 80% of Argos employees say they clearly understand the company's goals and objectives and 89% say they know what is expected of them in their job. These are comparatively high figures; many companies would struggle to match them but Argos wants to continue improving them.