Client Corner: Listening to Employees Creates a Win-Win for this Pawnbroker

Crown Pawn and JewelersAs in any operation, we’re always trying to maximize our performance. We began looking into employing “Think Tanks” (paid groups based on a specific income/demographic/age/gender criteria). Instead, we tapped our greatest resource, our staff.

We spoke with them one by one in a private setting and gave them three days to come up with some thoughts and suggestions. The criteria: if they could make any number of changes to improve our operation, what would they be? These changes would be influenced by their consumer experiences, work experiences, and life experiences. The parameters explained to them were: there are no bad or wrong suggestions and if we used their ideas or strategies we would compensate them accordingly.

Three days later my managers and I interviewed each staff member for the second part of this internal “Think Tank”. My managers were given specific instructions that no idea or suggestion would be criticized, disputed, or visibly dismissed. They could, however, request additional explanation or definition.

The results were phenomenal. Some of the suggestions were ideas that, unfortunately, we in management miss because we may be inundated with our own functions. We had some great promotional ideas, ways to improve our transaction speed, and some great sales strategies. Another benefit that came from this “Think Tank” was employee empowerment. Our staff felt that we valued them and their opinions.

We now see our staff taking additional ownership for their areas of responsibility and taking the initiative to resolve issues before bringing them to management. It has been a win-win!!!

Michael N. Katsanevas
Crown Jewelers & Pawn, Inc.
Salt Lake City, Utah