Building a company that says “yes” to creative solutions
“Strive for excellence” is one of our core values. That doesn’t just mean doing our routine tasks as well as we can, it means always thinking about — and finding — new and better ways to do our work and serve our customers. As we continue to move forward, building a culture of innovation has become increasingly important.
Nearly two months ago, we introduced a new initiative that we call Innovate Happy Culture. Designed to increase company-wide innovation efforts, Innovate Happy Culture encourages employees to contribute new ideas and to say “yes” to creative solutions.
Inspired by a Stanford University course on design thinking, we introduced a road map to innovation that gives employees a clear picture of the innovation process, and motivates us to step out of our comfort zones, which can be particularly difficult in the automotive business.
“We want employees to see a path that leads them to executing their ideas,” explained Scott Jones, store manager. “We want them to understand that they will be helped along the way, which gives people more confidence to voice their ideas.”
Innovate Happy Culture is quickly proving to be a success — employees have contributed over 90 new ideas in the past 60 days. One has already been implemented at our Carrboro shop, where we have gone paperless.
Previously, the store was using six to seven pieces of paper per customer visit. During a brainstorming session, employees realized each piece was unnecessary. We could do this paperless. While switching all aspects of the business from paper to paperless was a bit of a learning curve, the store very quickly sorted things out and is now enjoying the benefits.
“It’s made us better as a store. We’ve become much more detail oriented,” said Troy Hamburg, Carrboro store employee. “Customers love it. Plus, it’s very environmentally friendly with much less waste in paper, ink, and toner.”
The reason customers love the paperless initiative is that it has increased communication between the store and the customer. Employees are now able to text or email pictures of repair or maintenance issues they may want to consider, and easily follow up after visits.
The paperless initiative is being praised around the company and plans are being made for its implementation across all stores. After all, one of our other core values is that we win as a team, and that is also a focal point of Innovate Happy Culture. “It’s a journey that we take together. We work together towards success and build our team,” said Scott Jones.
Moving forward, Innovate Happy Culture will serve to solve existing problems while promoting the creation of new ideas. All stores are participating in the initiative at a grassroots level and are committed to learning, growing, and valuing every employee’s contributions. We look forward to seeing you experience the benefits of those contributions in your future visits.