SmartCEO: Kristina on exemplifying the brand promise

Today is Day 3 of our series sharing President and CEO Kristina Bouweiri’s thoughts on Brand-Driven Leadership as part of a panel at  the 2011 SmartCEO G3 conference.

In today’s installment,  Kristina answers how she shows her staff her commitment to the brand promise:

My situation is a little harder because I have 300 employees and 240 of them are chauffeurs and they are out on the road. So it’s hard for me to touch my employees every single day but some of the things that we do are on Mondays I am in the office all day long and I conduct all of my meetings on Mondays so all of the managers and department heads do see me on Mondays. During the rest of the week I’m in and out, doing a lot of networking, doing things like this. I’ve been in business 20 years so that now, I kind of do what I enjoy doing, which is mostly the PR and marketing for the company. But my policy with all of those employees is I have an open door policy. On payday I like to be the one handing out paychecks and that’s a great chance to see people because they definitely come in to get their paycheck.

I will do it in Virginia and also in Maryland, I have a 2-hour session in the afternoon where I have an open-door policy if anyone wants to come in and talk to me about anything. If one of my employees in Maryland wants to talk to me, I’ll get in the car and driver over to Maryland, as long as they make an appointment, and talk to them if they’re not happy with something. So even though it is a large company and we have a lot of employees, we still treat our employees as if it’s a family-owned small business. We’ve got the best benefits in the industry; even the chauffeurs get paid sick leave and I think that you’ll find that most transportation companies don’t offer that. We do offer health insurance, matching 401K, paid sick leave, vacation, and we treat everyone as family.

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