Remodeling morale at Home Depot

In the midst of a struggling economy, home improvement giant Home Depot is remodeling from the inside out, with employee morale and sense of ownership at the top of their “fix-it” list. HR chief Tim Crow has his hands full renovating training programs, expanding cash bonuses and increasing employee/customer face time.

In a recent Q & A with Workforce Management, Crow talked about the difficulties Home Depot has had to face while the country suffers through the “weakest housing market in more than 25 years.” This year company profits fell over 60%, forcing the company to halt expansion plans and close stores, impacting the lives of 1,300 employees.

While the company and country struggle financially, Crow has kept his focus on creating a sense of ownership among employees, improving employee product knowledge and strategically using rewards and recognition programs to revitalize morale.

Home Depot’s morale building strategies include:

Success Sharing. If stores make their sales goals, everyone gets a cash bonus. In 2007, Success Sharing bonuses totaled $63 million.

Homer Badges. Badges, named after the company mascot, to recognize store associates for living the company’s values. If employees earn three badges, they get a cash bonus.

Aprons on the Floor. An company-wide initiative encouraging employees to find new ways to cut costs so Home Depot can spend more on staffing. The company cut its HR staff by more than half, with four HR managers overseeing 6 to 10 stores each.

Read the complete Workforce article on how Home Depot is keeping training and employee morale high priorities during tough economic times.

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