How did City Mill go from being nearly "uninsurable" in 1992 to having stores exceeding 1200 days without a Workers Comp injury? Start with a Safety Manager and a series of rewards for team members whose stores go accident and injury free for 300 days or more. Each team member receives a $100 bill presented by their President and their insurance carrier uses their safety program as a model across the country. They use live, video and computer assisted training, First Aid and CPR training is routine, new safety posters are displayed each month, and associates are involved in talking about and assessing how to do the job safely.
City Mill strives to create a family-based corporate culture. How does a mom and pop store developed into a multi-million dollar business and now run by the brother and sister become the winner of the Healthy Workplace Award?
There's an Open Door policy throughout the company and every morning at every store there's a pep rally, a song of the day, and a training reminder. They conduct an annual Team Member Satisfaction Survey that measures things like Communications, Training, human Resources, Physical Facilities, Working Conditions, Teamwork, Management Practices, organizational Climate, Pay and Benefits and just about everything you can think of in a company that cares about its people.
Their Kokua Makai'i program is a recognition program that rewards team members for excellent customer service to both external and internal customers. Employees can also nominate fellow workers and as they accumulate awards, they progress from an Excellence Pin to a key chain, a polo shirt, sweatshirt, monogrammed jacket, distinctive watch, $250 gift certificates and more as awards are announced in the quarterly newsletter. City Mill also has the "Store of the Quarter" and "Store of the Year" awards with trophies, awards lunches, shirts, cash bonuses and more. They have done turkeys for all employees at Thanksgiving, negotiated team member benefits at cooperating stores in Hawai'i, and continue to find new ways to help employees stretch their dollars.
Training begins day one and continues every day of employment. Their training programs are comprehensive and balanced with product knowledge as well as Management Development. Since 1998, 87 employees have completed internal managerial training and annual evaluations provide team members with feedback on performance and goal setting for the future. They often rotate employees through different departments to further develop their range of knowledge and are bringing out a new component, the City Mill Expert Program, to recognize associates with exceptional skills and knowledge. Associates are also empowered by the "Make It Happen Program" that basically makes it every person's responsibility to handle customer issues immediately if possible. Mystery Shoppers and Customer Report Cards, available at each cashier, also provide information to assist in their continuous development process.
Along with all the normal benefits, City Mill pays from 62-71% of dependant's medical coverage, 50% of all Temporary and Long-Term Disability policies for employees, and 100% of life insurance equal to one year's salary. Team members get 50% off paint and 20% off all other merchandise. Low interest loans from their pension fund are focused on helping employees in need with emergency medical situations, tuition requests, home purchases and other family support concerns.
City Mill also encourages team members to participate in community service pursuits and they have been an AUW Pacesetter company for the past five years. From Special Olympics to Support our Troops campaigns, they have volunteers participating in charity walks and runs, neighborhood groups of all kinds, and Rebuilding Hawai'i Together where they donate thousands of dollars of materials annually and 25-30 team members help to refurbish selected homes of those less fortunate in the community. One of many reasons why City Mill is the Healthy Workplace Award winner in the large business category for 2004.