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Mexico: Neto Stores, a success story. Buy ideas before you sell

In the retail sector, Discount Retail Chain Tiendas Neto is an example of action in the face of adversity. With just 11 years in the Mexican market, Tiendas Neto is a business that, based on a culture of high trust, has known how to weave a safe and prosperous destiny for itself and that of its collaborators.

Unlike other retail organizations in Mexico, its employees claim to feel comfortable with their jobs and willing to do their best despite being a very demanding shift. According to the Confidence Index survey of Great Place to Work® in Mexico.

So far, Tiendas Neto has 1,200 self-service discount stores and more than 8,000 employees who, in addition to having a stable job, have different experiences that strengthen their sense of belonging and team participation.

Georgina Martínez, director of Human Resources at Tiendas Neto, graduated in business administration from UVM, with a master's degree in Human Factor and more than 15 years of experience in human resources, explained during her participation in the Master Webinar Series 9 of GPTW®, that Tiendas Neto is characterized by being congruent between what it says and does. Be tenacious, enthusiastic about your mission and be in constant search of how to do things.

One of the values ​​of this organization is open communication, at any level and at any time. In this way they generate confidence, one of the fundamental elements of the Best Places to Work®, and that promotes the belief in oneself and others in being able to achieve certain goals or objectives. A command with closeness Of course, trust can be reduced or maximized depending on the events that are experienced around a work culture. Therefore, the importance of the different practices that organizations implement to develop it; It is on these that collaborators feel comfortable with what they do and are willing to give the best of themselves.

Therefore, effective leadership plays the most important role in retail organizations and in any other business. A leader prepared to listen, inspire, develop his collaborators and show a genuine interest in their concerns, gains their trust and, with this, that they work as a team, as a unit because they know well the values, goals and objective of the organization they work for.

Tiendas Neto, being an organization certified as a Great Place to Work®, has implemented different practices in favor of its collaborators. This has allowed it to remain a stable business with perspective even in challenging times like the current one. One of its main initiatives is the Talent School. Training to grow Talent School is an instruction that lasts one year (in six sessions), attended by collaborators selected by their own colleagues based on the good performance they observe in them. They are instructed on the values ​​of Tiendas Neto, for example, “Enthusiasm”, it addresses what behaviors they should have to achieve it and once established, these collaborators have the task of living it and reproducing it with their co-workers and even with their families.

Talent School has four generations of graduates and, according to Georgina Martínez, by living testimony, people come out with the idea of ​​being better people. This specific fact is the way in which Tiendas Neto has approached its collaborators; The formula is simple: they design programs for staff based on their organizational values: Austerity, Tenacity, Practicality, Integrity, Adaptability, Enthusiasm and Open Communication.

With actions like this, Georgina Martínez talks that people feel comfortable because knowing that the organization takes care of them generates a sense of belonging and family. In this way, for the director it makes sense to be certified as a great place to work because that way they have been able to identify the factors that motivate employees to participate more actively and want to stay. An organization without leaders? Since Covid-19 many organizations offered their employees to work from home, it was seen that leadership was changing. The current situation has confirmed: despotic, coercive and inflexible behaviors no longer work and even less, in the modality of remote work.

Aware of this, in Tiendas Neto, adjectives such as the leader or nouns such as the director of… have been discontinued. It is assumed that employees have the ability to become team builders, regardless of their position, and this is the challenge of those who make up the organization.

Each collaborator, once he assumes the values, questions more how he can help his team, if he is acting as a true facilitator or on his own without thinking about the results. According to Tiendas Neto, team building begins when a new element is integrated because they must ensure that they are the right person to adapt to the values. It is the responsibility of the employer to accompany this to make it happen and it is a responsibility of all, not only of human resources. A business partner Tiendas Neto has also understood that the objective of human resources (HR) is no longer that of a recruiter. The HR role is more like that of a business partner who is aware of everyone's needs and not just the administration. They have understood that the training programs are not generated from their initiative, but from the operation of each area.

Human Resources acts as a guide on how things could be done while keeping close to business needs. People are the ones who give ideas and these, if they are feasible, are implemented as training programs. That is why the importance of closeness to people, with whom they live day to day at work.

Tiendas Neto knows that the needs between regions, between business units and between teams are specific and by permanently accompanying the operation, it is possible to know and cover them. The objective of Human Resources is unequivocal: it must be a facilitator rather than another administrative area. Community and communication Another of the most outstanding initiatives of Tiendas Neto has been to promote the unity among its employees. For this, it has used an internal communication network where, for example, collaborators openly share their stories or experiences within the organization. They upload photos or testimonials and say they feel comfortable with the practice.

This type of forum opens up trust because it is the collaborators themselves who set the limits to where they want to share their experiences. The achievement has been to discover that people express their pride and the feeling of being in one of the Best Places to Work, and they do it with confidence.

In order for all of the above to be possible, Georgina Martínez suggests that organizations that want to transform their work cultures define their DNA values ​​well as a matter of principle, transform them into behaviors and with these the programs are created with a view to spreading them; programs that are for the organization and everyone can live, because they establish how you want to perceive a work culture that favors the organizational climate.

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