At Sure Petcare, a Happy Workplace is More About What Leadership Doesn’t Do
Sarah Metcalfe is Head of Customer Service at Sure Petcare and she knows that a happy workplace is essential for enhancing the customer experience. When she asked her team, “what makes you happy at work?” what stood out was that it’s really more about what leadership doesn’t do.
For example, they don’t impose SLAs or metrics. They don’t get mad if staff are late because they’re stuck in traffic. They don’t measure people and don’t ask them how long they’re going to be on the phone for.
In this short video from the 2019 Happy Workplaces Conference, Sarah explains what gives her team the ability to do whatever it takes to make the customer happy.
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Sure Petcare has been intent on creating an environment where people can bring their whole selves to work. They don’t want employees adopting a formal work persona; they should feel comfortable enough to express themselves. “All of the rest of the pieces about delivering great service come from having those connections and those relationships,” says Sarah.
Prior to talking at the 2019 Happy Workplaces conference, Sarah asked her people what makes them happy at work. The answers included how easy it is to get help, the fact they don’t have their performances assessed, and being given freedom, control and flexibility. However, what really stood out for Sarah were the things she doesn’t do.
“I train them very, very well and then I let them do their jobs with a very clear guideline that their job is to do what it is that makes the customer happy,” says Sarah.
Resources and related content
- 12 Ways in Which Toyota Create a Great Workplace — Henry Stewart visited Toyota and learned about 'kaizen'. Each member of staff is expected to come up with at least two kaizen, or improvements, each month. They are allocated 15 minutes a day to identify and test these.
- Leading in Agile Environments — Happy has partnered with Adventures in Agile to offer this two-day transformational workshop to develop leaders driven by purpose, creativity, curiosity, and empathy.
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This year's conference took place on 30th July via Zoom. We were delighted to welcome James Shaw, a minister in the New Zealand government on putting wellbeing at the heart of policy and Ynzo van Zanten of Tony's Chocolonely on creating a culture of happiness to achieve an important mission (ending slavery in the chocolate industry).
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