Ari Weinzweig is co-founder of the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, which are world-renowned for their outstanding customer service engrained in the company culture.

So how was such a culture established?

Ari is quick to point out that there is no single solution. That said, one of the important factors he emphasizes is that his entire staff understands how the business is run.

That sounds obvious, but when you think about it, have your employees been given a holistic training on how all the pieces of the organizational puzzle fit together? Do they understand how they contribute to the whole? That may not sound like a necessary training, but here’s what it looks like when you invest:

Employees proactively look for ways to improve processes.

Ari tells the story of how one of his line cooks came coming to him after a conversation with their bartender. “Did you know the bar uses the egg whites and just throws out the yolks? What a waste! We can use those in the kitchen.” It’s a small savings, but it represents a crucial mindset: Upper management need not be alone in coming up with ways to better processes and reduce waste. But if the bigger picture is not understood, how can one make these connections?

Their wins are your wins.

Are company sales part of the dialogue? Do employees know how this year’s sales compare to last year, and how that compares to the year prior? As Ari explains, every day, each of his companies will compare sales to the prior year, and then they celebrate wins.

What does that do for motivation? Staff members can directly connect their efforts to that number, making it more meaningful. For instance, did a friendly conversation with someone lead to a larger sale? That’s going to further encourage friendly conversations.

Every single person is doing their part to contribute to this greater whole, so why not have the numbers be part of the discourse?

What you’re seeing is a superior example of how a company can function, and this was a culture that was carefully crafted.

I lead AssociationSuccess.org,and I do so with the fiercest of passion. Along my journey, I have been lucky to meet association professionals who choose this field because they believe in its power, and dedicate their time to furthering it. It is my job to bring these people together to solve problems, and this is the very core of my raison d’etre!

I lead AssociationSuccess.org,and I do so with the fiercest of passion. Along my journey, I have been lucky to meet association professionals who choose this field because they believe in its power, and dedicate their time to furthering it. It is my job to bring these people together to solve problems, and this is the very core of my raison d’etre!

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