Hardware Retailing

AUG 2017

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | August 2017 54 Hardware Retailing (HR): What's the importance of having a good sense of teamwork among your employees? Rob Mathews (RM): It's definitely very important. It helps when employees are aware of each other's quirks, abilities and preferences. They may not always agree, but they can better understand where the other is coming from. I think sports are a good analogy. There are defined roles, as well as certain measures of accountability. Each person has a responsibility, or several. Occasionally you'll have to step up and do something that maybe isn't your bread and butter or part of your go-to skill set. If you're asked to do those other things repetitively, you won't be happy in your job. If that's happening with multiple people, you won't have a very good team dynamic, because you could have several unhappy people on your team. It's important to know where each person fits best in each team, so you can ensure you are using each employee to his or her greatest potential or make sure you have satisfied, fulfilled employees. HR: What are some of the ways you can implement that sense of teamwork among your staff? RM: It's helpful to have a common goal. That should be your starting point. It includes knowing a business' vision, values and mission statement. The next step is to bring awareness to who everyone is on the team. What does each person bring to the table? How do they tend to operate? What they like to do? What don't they like to do? There's a program called StrengthsFinder that includes an assessment to help employees identify their strongest strengths and talents. It also includes Making a Team Successful Rob Mathews, who has past hardware retailing experience, now works with the Schnatter Institute at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He knows firsthand the importance of a strong sense of teamwork among employees. Rob Mathews Director John H. Schnatter Institute Ball State University Mathews served as assistant director of the entrepreneurship center for six years prior to becoming the director of entrepreneurial leadership at the university level. He has previously been part owner in Marco True Value Hardware in Marco Island, Florida, and owner of Mathews True Value Home Center in Pendleton, Indiana.

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