I’ve always felt very strongly about creating a team environment in any department I manage. You don’t become a team by accident. You are led to it. You grow into to it. You rely on the people around you and, as a team, you become stronger than the individual. You feel good about the people around you and, in turn, it makes you feel good about yourself. We hire great people and we give them the joyful opportunity to be a part of a team.
All of the Supervisors in our Distribution Center were given $500 to spend on our teams in any way we felt appropriate. I am always looking for ways to unify, motivate and connect my team since we are stretched out over 20 hours and three shifts. I’ve always felt sentimental about the FORTUNE “100 Best” award since year one — 13 years ago! I’ve put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears into seeing our company grow from nine stores to 57 stores today. We’ve always known it was a great place to work, but when we got on the list for the first time so many others became aware of what we were doing for our employees. I remember how it made me feel to get that first FORTUNE “100 Best” T-shirt and what a sense of pride I felt when I wore it. I wanted my team to have that feeling of company pride, as well as a feeling of team unity. The funds were made available back in December of 2011. I told my team that if (really when) we were named to the FORTUNE “100 best” list again everyone would get a free shirt! They were excited from the start, but when we actually got to hand out the Fortune T-shirts, their reactions were priceless!
— James Castleberry, Replenishment Putaway Supervisor, 19 years