It’s the time of year when we reflect on the first half of our year, and partner with our Leadership Teams to discuss our goals and expand our performances. While this may sound like a fairly standard practice—commonly known in the industry as a performance review—at Room & Board, unsurprisingly, the process is quite different not only in name—Priorities and Measures—but holistically in nature. Rather than the typical by-the-book review of numbers and performance “ratings,” at Room & Board we pride ourselves on reflection and partnership. That is, whether an individual wishes to learn a new a skill, enhance an existing one or grow into a new role, our leadership teams encourage our autonomy in self-directed growth.
Given the special nature of this process, Atlanta did something a little different this year: each associate was given a gift card to our favorite ice cream shop (all hail Jenni’s Ice Cream!) and 1 hour of free time away from the showroom for reflection. As a result, we were afforded a luxurious hour to ourselves…and ice cream (personally, I went all the way and got the Salted Bourbon Ice Cream Sundae)! What a tremendous example of our philosophy regarding work-life balance.
Further, being encouraged to employ and granted the opportunity to exercise such a level of autonomy over our roles and sought after guidance ultimately aligns with Room and Board’s intention to create a “rewarding and deeply satisfying work experience [ice cream and all].”
Working in a beautiful environment like Room & Board is inspirational in so many ways for staff and customers alike, so it is no surprise that maintaining our showroom is not an easy feat. Because of our love of and appreciation for our store and its beauty, we employ truly impeccable standards to ensure that we remain as in awe of our surroundings as our guests. From fluffing cushions to washing our display stemware to collaborating in order to find the perfect accent pillow, we spare no effort to uphold our aesthetics and design philosophies.
In Atlanta, we recently had the opportunity to witness our commitment to our visual code of ethics in action. Admittedly, it was simultaneously inspiriting and rather amusing when one of our Design Associates literally crawled under a bed to tuck its sheets. To expound, our display linens must often be tidied to maintain the clean, crisp R&B look. Well, this particular Design Associate took it upon herself to go above and beyond (or in this case under and beyond!) to do so. Naturally, I couldn’t resist taking a photograph.
While it’s clear that we not only adore our showroom and have great senses of humor, this act profoundly relates to the core of our company, and can be summed up by this quote from our Guiding Principles: “We need to provide for ourselves and those we love. That’s the very basic premise that brings us to work each day. But beyond the obvious economics of work, we believe that our endeavors should have meaning.”
What a perfect illustration of finding meaning in your work…no matter the task!
Working at Room & Board is quite a unique experience. In contrast to other retailers, our business philosophy encompasses basic, yet profound, human tenets that we call our Guiding Principles. One tremendous example of this refreshing dichotomy between the traditional retail-world and the one fostered by R&B is our stores’ connections to their communities. In fact, each market is given the autonomy to select a vetted community partner with which to engage financially as well as emotionally through volunteer opportunities.
Recently, our team in Atlanta had the privilege of meeting with a representative from our newly selected community partner, Nicholas House. This non-profit, Atlanta-based organization is truly unique in that it serves as a foundation for rebuilding the lives of homeless families, rather than merely “housing” the individuals and issues which have led to their circumstances. Being a part of this effort gives us occasion to celebrate the strengthening of families while taking pride in knowing that not only are the employees of Room & Board part of this revolution against homelessness in our city, but, further, that our company is fully and whole-heartedly committed to the cause as well.
Thus, what distinguishes the Room & Board way of “giving back” is our belief that it’s not merely the monetary value which counts; rather, it’s about building relationships with real people and positively affecting the lives of others while serving as a force of style, craftsmanship and value in the furniture industry. This is only one of the myriad reasons that make Room & Board such a special place to work!