Have you hugged your hospital today?
Well, that’s a question that I could not have imagined until recently when I participated in a group hug of Riley’s Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. The hug was an idea that Scott Moorehead, CEO of TCC, and Ryan McCarty, director of the Culture of Good at TCC, conceived as a way to dramatize the positive emotions we feel when we do something good for others.
Some 900 employees of TCC, a premium Verizon retailer, and a few extras like me, stood at the entrance of the hospital and joined hands until we formed a giant circle around the building. We then pressed ourselves against the building. Along with the hug, Moorehead and wife Julie presented the hospital with a check for $1 million to be used for care for Riley patients and their families.
Lots of companies give away money, but this donation and event, which was part of TCC’s annual sales rally, demonstrated to all attendees that the company takes its mission of service to the community seriously. As part of its commitment to the Culture of Good, every year the company gives away backpacks with school supplies and backs it with a “teacher day” event to restock classroom supplies. It also sponsors college scholarships and more. Individual stores also are encouraged to donate to local charities in their communities, and employees are given two paid leave days annually to do volunteer work.
The giving — corporate and individual — is part of TCC’s Virtuous Circle of Success that focuses the company on three principles: customers matter, employees matter, and communities matter. In the competitive world of cellular phone retailing, TCC seeks to give employees a reason to come to work happy. This mantra is something that Scott Moorehead’s parents, the now-retired Steve and Phyllis, insisted upon when they began the business in 1991. The other principle was that intimidation of employees was not to be tolerated.
Since becoming CEO in 2008, Scott has tripled the size of the business, and he attributes that growth to TCC’s focus on treating employees as well as they treat customers. What employees notice most about TCC is the culture. Lots of companies talk a good game, but TCC knows how to play for real. And TCC does it better than their competition. In a business where retail employee turnover averages 50%, investing in employee training and development may seem counterintuitive. At TCC, such differentiation enables it to hold onto its best people and promote them as they excel. TCC’s retention rate is typically higher than its competitors.
The Culture of Good seeks to deliver on the promise of service. At the annual sales rally, employees gulp huge doses of the culture in events such as the hospital hug, along with hero stories of fellow employees doing things better for customers and finding ways to give back to the community.
Everyone, as Scott likes to say, wants to feel part of something greater than him or herself. Such participation generates feelings of happiness that are vital to human satisfaction. Happy workers are more productive workers because they enjoy what they do and they enjoy doing it with others who feel similarly.
Feeling a part of a growing business is part of a bigger plan, but that’s only for starters. Knowing that what you do matters to customers and employees, and in turn to the community, is proposition that appeals to TCC’s employee base, many of whom are Millennials.
The Culture of Good is integral to enabling employees to work with people who share the same values. At TCC, employees see managers living the values of service to each other and to those they manage. Employees have the opportunity to learn how to sell service and value and, at the same time, learn to develop skills that will position themselves for success at work and in life.
John Baldoni is chair of leadership development at N2Growth, is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2014, Trust Across America named him to its list of top 100 most trustworthy business experts. Also in 2014, Inc.com named Baldoni to its list of top 100 leadership experts, and Global Gurus ranked him No. 11 on its list of global leadership experts. Baldoni is the author of more than a dozen books, including his newest, “MOXIE: The Secret to Bold and Gutsy Leadership.”
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