Pet Pros: Training for Success
Pet Pros prioritizes taking good care of its employees.
A pet store is only as good as its employees, who are in charge of everything from stocking shelves, assisting customers and closing up at night. When it comes to its staff, Pet Pros gets back what it gives.
“We try to create fun and engaging environments where our teams can learn, develop their skills and have a good time doing it,” says Mikie Pierre, operations manager for the company.
The company holds quarterly manager meetings at a centrally located community center, often bringing in vendors and giving them the floor to train store managers, who then relay the information back to their employees.
Management uses pre-made, short term goal (STG) forms to train and develop its team. The STGs have built-in areas to develop goals, making sure everyone who is providing and receiving training knows exactly what’s expected, how long it’ll take, the “why” behind the goal, and what success will look like. New employees are given a STG form that outlines their first 90 days, covering everything from completing onboarding paperwork, education on products and guest service, and daily operations of the store, including using the POS systems and opening/closing procedures.
“We encourage everyone to go as far as they can in their development because whether they stay with us, or at some point move into another industry or company, the skills and engagement they learn here will help them be successful anywhere,” explains Pierre.
To that end, Pet Pros is all about promoting employees from within. All it takes is a well-rounded individual with a willingness to learn and share what they’ve learned, in addition to the ability to share their ideas for improvement and engage with everyone in a professional, friendly manner, to be considered for a move into a higher position.
The keys to retaining employees and keeping them motivated are “food and fun t-shirts,” jokes Pierre. She clarifies that while the company does provide pizza during training, “good job” cups of coffee and multiple t-shirts, it also shares and celebrates success.
“We send out Raving Fan emails, and we share Google or Yelp reviews in our weekly newsletter so that everyone can see how our teams are doing and cheer each other on,” says Pierre.
Pet Pros employees are able to enjoy what they do and see success because, according to Pierre, “We get to talk about pets all day… how is that not fun?!”