dtr annual conference - May 2011

Mark Spring May 09, 2011 : 0

Last week we held our annual conference, with almost 60 attendees, including store managers, suppliers and head office staff. With branches spread right across the country, it was fantastic to get everyone in one room and I’d like to share some of the affirmations and realisations I had during the event.

One thing, which I mentioned in my previous post, is how we as the senior management team need to invest in helping our employees achieve more, doing what we can to ensure they’re the ‘best they can be’. Following on from this, we need to continue to invest in other aspects of the business so as to realise the future that is ours for the taking. We have spent a lot of time and money re-invigorating the brand and empowering the staff to feel confident in making decisions for themselves. But we can’t stop now. It’s easy to feel the battle has been won when you see positive figures on the P&L (especially in comparison with many others in the retail sector). However, the minute we stop investing is the minute we start to lose the momentum we have started.

Loyalty is a trait that’s hard to find in today’s business world. Fortunately, it’s something quite prevalent at dtr. Several staff have been with us for more than twenty years (far longer than I’ve been with the company!) and this kind of knowledge about the business is invaluable. Their presence is also hugely important in maintaining a true company culture.

Perhaps the most important moment I will remember the conference for is the sense of togetherness. A way of fostering this is rewarding those who have achieved great things and adding a little competition to the mix. This year our Rotorua store was the best store overall. For the prize-giving, we dusted off some ‘store of the year’ trophies from way back when and handed them out to the winners. It was a good to connect the past with the future and acted as a reminder of how long this company has been going: almost 50 years!

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