AO.com have shown ambitious growth, floated in February 2014 and revenues rose 24% last year. They realise the power of culture and ensuring their people are able to be exceptional. This is the differentiator which has helped the company gain revenues of £476.7m.
Given my experience in retail transformation, I have to agree. Leadership affects how your employees perform. How employees feel about and carry out their job affects the experience of the customers, both in store and online. This affects sales. Bottom line. Invest in your culture and people, aligned to your strategy and direction, and performance increases.
Culture is the only thing we worry about. Anyone can buy big trucks and warehouses but it’s people who make a difference. We know what our DNA is. We obsess about it. We hire and fire against it. Our staff understand our values and we understand what makes them tick. If we grow to 20,000 or 30,000 staff in ten or 15 years’ time I want people to ask how we’ve maintained our culture. The answer will be that people have always been our biggest asset. Culture is our biggest differentiator and AO took the time to understand, invest in and nurture both. Look at our response to Black Friday. One analogy we use is a gold medallist at the Olympics. They can’t perform at gold medal standard every day but they’re exceptional in the moments that matter.