I will admit at the beginning that I am prejudiced — I am a fan of the Trendy Trunk. And, I will admit — given the outrageous nature of the content of a recent Presidential debate — that I am a bit reluctant to share this particular bit of information about them, as it might be just a bit personal.
However, I hope you’ll agree, it DOES make a darned good example of an important aspect in business.
First — I’m biased because the Trendy Trunk, a gift store just north of Nashville in Hendersonville, Tennessee, is owned by my good friends, Deanna and Dana Williams. I’ve been pals with Dana for a long, long time. He stood up with me when I got married. You may know him as the bass player and vocalist with platinum-selling, Grammy-winning, six-time country music “Vocal Group of the Year,” Diamond Rio.
Second — I’m a bit reluctant, because what I’m going to share with you is…the bathroom wall at the Trendy Trunk.
Now, a restroom might not usually be a great example of what’s right about a business; but, in this case, there is an important exception.
You see — this is a wall of the Trendy Trunk’s bathroom. I took this picture when Tammy and I visited with the Williams’s this past week. It made me think for a moment about all of the retail restrooms I have visited over the past many years, how basic and stark they have been, and how companies spend a lot of money to create a great showroom for their customers — then, fail to carry that same message and effort throughout the location.
Or, have you ever used the “employee restroom” at a store? Companies will spend countless resources to make customers feel at home — and design the employee area to have all the warmth and style of a prison. (Then, they wonder why employees don’t feel connected to the place they work!)
- Important note: This isn’t a blog post that is here to motivate you to remodel the bathroom where you work. It’s about getting you to notice the importance of the culture of your business — and its role in making you distinctive.
The homespun warmth found on the Trendy Trunk’s showroom is also on display for the employees throughout the store. Deanna Williams makes certain that there is no disconnection between what they say to their customers — and how they treat their colleagues.
That’s a little thing — it’s not rocket science to put the same products you’re selling to customers on the walls of the employee area. However, as Jim Rohn used to say, “That which is easy to do, is also easy NOT to do — which is why most fail to do it.”
My friend and client from Bridgestone, Gwen, told me, “I LOVE the Trendy Trunk! They are so NICE in there!” Notice that her first comment wasn’t on the Pandora, Brighton, or Kate Spade product lines. It was on how they made her FEEL as a customer!
The accumulation of those little steps — what the restroom looks like, how you treat your team, and more — is what creates the culture of your business. And, in part, culture is what will determine how your employees will treat your customers when you’re not around.
I think you can tell something about how the Trendy Trunk treats its employees just by looking at the bathroom. And, if that’s how they treat their team — just imagine how their team treats customers!
Your organization’s culture isn’t determined by a memo from the CEO or head of HR. It’s demonstrated by how you do the little things that encourage your colleagues to create distinction in the marketplace.