Building a Most Loved Workplace: The American Tire Distributors Success Story
Creating an environment where people thrive, feel valued, and are inspired to contribute their best is a monumental achievement in the modern workplace. American Tire Distributors (ATD) has not only achieved this feat but has become certified as a Most Loved Workplace® and gone on to be recognized as one of Newsweek’s Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces for the second consecutive year.
Let’s look into the success story of how ATD built a workplace where success is measured not just in profits but in its employees’ joy, engagement, and satisfaction. It reveals the reasons behind ATD’s Most Loved Workplace Success.
Table of Contents
Systemic Collaboration: Fostering a “We vs. I” Culture
One of the critical pillars of ATD’s success is its commitment to systemic collaboration. ATD is not just a job; it’s a collective effort where employees collaborate across teams, celebrating the spirit of “we vs. I.”
This collaborative ethos is embedded in the company’s DNA, breaking down boundaries and integrating diverse experiences. Partnerships across the enterprise are formed, where every associate listens, contributes, and builds meaningful connections. This culture of collaboration is the driving force behind real progress at ATD.
Positive Vision of the Future: Nurturing Authenticity and Humanity
ATD stands out in cultivating a positive vision for the future, driven by care and shared humanity. The lens through which programs and initiatives are designed emanates from the heart and soul of the organization.
The company takes pride in creating a culture where every associate can be authentic. This commitment to authenticity is a powerful driver of positivity, making the workplace a professional space and a community where individuals are seen, heard, and valued.
Company Respect: Driving Diversity and Inclusion
Respect is not just a word at ATD; it’s a lived experience. The company actively ensures that all voices are heard and ideas are valued. The commitment to diversity and inclusion is not just a checkbox; it’s ingrained in mindful practices and conversations that support a people-first culture.
The Culture Committee, comprising diverse leaders, drives initiatives that recognize and celebrate the unique aspects of each associate. From weAreOne to Black History Month, Pride, Hispanic Heritage observations, and beyond, ATD stands as a beacon of inclusivity.
Company Support/Killer Outcomes: A Learning Culture
Supporting employees in achieving their professional and personal goals is a cornerstone of ATD’s approach. The company thrives on a learning culture, celebrating knowledge and investing in associates and leaders hungry for continuous growth.
The modern learning ecosystem at ATD provides daily learning opportunities for all, integrated into individual objectives. Quarterly performance and development discussions ensure transparency and respect, aligning associates with the most critical priorities for their professional development.
Building a Thriving Workplace Culture!
Discover how to leverage the right technology and implement a proactive strategy that cultivates talent and facilitates team collaboration.
Alignment of Values: Instilling Values into the Fabric
ATD’s success is not just about business values but also aligning them with its employees. Associates were instrumental in defining values that resonated with them, and ATD took intentional steps to instill these values into the company’s fabric.
Driving hope, happiness, and well-being in the communities they serve is not just a statement but a lived commitment. ATD believes in creating opportunities for this generation and the next, embodying its values daily.
Company Practices/Love: Programs That Matter
ATD’s commitment to the well-being of its employees goes beyond rhetoric; it translates into programs designed for the whole person. The weCare Associate Relief Fund is a testament to the company’s ethos, offering support during unexpected hardships.
Monthly engagement activities, appreciation platforms, and the LifeatATD.com associate engagement website create an ecosystem where every moment that matters is celebrated. Love is embedded in the programs that make ATD a workplace that employees genuinely love.
CEO Strengths: Leading with Values
Leadership guides the entire organization, and ATD’s CEO, Stuart Schuette, serves as a model of the company’s values. The culture of transparency, trust, and authenticity is not just preached but practiced.
Regular video updates and coffee chats with new hires foster a sense of connection and alignment with the company’s purpose, vision, and values. The value of respect, passionately championed by the CEO, resonates throughout the organization.
Benefits: A Holistic Approach
ATD’s approach to benefits reflects its belief in providing choices that support the unique needs of every associate. From tiered benefit premiums based on pay to investments in associate wellness, the company ensures that its benefits align with the well-being of its diverse workforce. The annual weCare Volunteer Day and front-loaded PTO accruals reflect a commitment to a work-life balance that values the individual.
Certifications: Recognizing Excellence
ATD’s commitment to excellence has not gone unnoticed. The company’s Top 100 Most Loved Workplace certifications reaffirm its dedication to creating an environment where employees thrive. These certifications are not just badges but reflections of a culture that consistently prioritizes the well-being and engagement of its workforce.
Inspiring Growth and Improved Customer Experience
ATD’s success story extends beyond internal practices to the very heart of its operations. The introduction of microlearning through the Axonify platform has profoundly impacted sales results. Recognizing the need for continuous learning in a competitive market, ATD embraced microlearning to empower its sales team.
The platform’s success is measured in engagement statistics and tangible business outcomes—increased sales volumes, improved product knowledge, and a 3% overall increase in sales compensation.
Most Loved Workplace Recognition: A Testament to Cultural Transformation
ATD’s inclusion in Newsweek’s list of the Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces for two consecutive years is more than an accolade; it’s a testament to the cultural transformation within the organization.
The Spark Model, which focuses on Systemic Collaboration, Positive Future Vision, Values Alignment, Respect, and Killer Achievement, reflects how employee sentiment and emotions are prioritized. ATD’s commitment to listening to its employees has resulted in a workplace where passion, dedication, and connection thrive.
Final Word: A Blueprint for Success
In building a Most Loved Workplace, ATD’s success story stands as a blueprint for organizations aspiring to create environments where employees flourish. The pillars of collaboration, positive vision, respect, support, and values alignment form the foundation.
From CEO leadership to benefits, from certifications to innovative learning platforms, ATD’s approach is holistic, reflecting a genuine concern for the prosperity and success of its workforce. In the tireless pursuit of creating a workplace that employees love, American Tire Distributors has not just achieved success; it has defined a new standard for workplace excellence.
Louis Carter is the founder and CEO of Best Practice Institute, Most Loved Workplace, and Results-Based Culture. Author of In Great Company, Change Champions Field Guide, and Best Practices in Talent Management, as well as a series of Leadership Development books. He is a trusted strategic advisor and coach to CEOs, CHROs, and leaders of mid-sized to F500 companies – enabling change and steering employer brand development together with highly effective teams, leaders, and organizations as a whole.