Dreams chief executive Mike Logue has said the bed specialists’ turnaround was driven by a focus on colleagues and internal communication.
Speaking at Retail Week’s Customer Experience summit today, Logue said that making cultural changes among its 1,200-strong team was key to the business’ recovery.
The bed specialist fell into administration in 2013 after “four torrid years of decline”, said Logue.
However, a three-year improvement plan implemented by Logue when he joined Dreams after it collapsed led to the business’ annual profits soaring last year.
Logue said he focused initially on bolstering employee engagement, which he found to be poor.
He launched a staff engagement survey and, with only half the staff participating in the poll, discovered that his workers did not know each other, were not customer-focused and were not engaged.
Logue said: “If you want to get a business right, you’ve got to get the colleague bit right first, and then the product bit, and then you get the customer. Getting the culture right was the first step.”
He said he has been making frequent visits to every store, “listening to colleagues as much as customers” and “investing heavily in internal communication and culture”.
“I now meet with every employee a minimum of twice a year face to face. That’s 1,200 members of staff,” he added.
The chief executive also said the team now experiences how Dreams is run – from how the mattresses are made, to what it’s like on the shopfloor.
“You’ve got to be in among it. We try it out, make observations, write it down and fix it,” he said.
Dreams also publishes a magazine to ”celebrate employees’ success and achievements”.
Logue, who axed the former Dreams management team, said many of his turnaround plans stemmed from a visit to a store in Scotland on his second day in the role.
“You could tell no one had visited stores above Watford,” he added.
He also said his customer surveys Pillow Talk, which provide live data, inform him how to run the business. “This has changed the company,” Logue added.