One to Write Home About!


At the recent ‘New Zealand’s HR in Practice Conference 2013’ a case study was presented by Mark Ashton and Andrea Wagstaff of Warehouse Stationery, about just how powerful a strong vision is to drive achievement.

In 2007, Warehouse Stationary realised they needed to make some changes, radical changes. Given the nature and size of their business they decided on a programme of change that featured a realistic timeframe, the use of practical consistent messaging, using multi channelled communication to drive the purpose and vision throughout the entire business.

From the CEO down, it was all about meaningful information for all 900+ employees. Actions spoke louder than words.  Communication was frequent and the change process began to take hold.  An example of the CEO led activity was the response to ‘brainwave suggestions’ which were/are treated very seriously no matter where they came from – with each being responded to personally by the CEO to initiate action.

A buddy was appointed to each store to enable the leadership team to ‘slip their feet into the stores shoes’ and participate in the full activities of all the stores.

And has it worked? Yes, customer numbers have grown, retention and engagement has improved and business revenue has increased considerably. The bright blue shirts are worn with enthusiasm and gusto.

Mark proudly states; “There is no need for ‘Undercover Boss’ in this business. We are too transparent.”

Tips from Mark Ashton:

  1. Find the truth
  2. Action it
  3. Framework to operate
  4. Develop your leaders


A final word:

NZ Herald, Business, pg 18, Friday 1 November:

Warehouse Stationary was announced as winners of a new category at the Kenexa Best Places Workplaces 2013: ‘Enterprise Workplace Award’ and winners of the ‘Retailer Employer of the year Medium Category Award 2013’.

According to  Pejman Okhovat, CEO; “The company is simply striving to be the best retailer in NZ and to do this it is about ensuring customers are looked after well. We see it in terms of happy team/happy customers.”


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