A Lesson in Successful (And Sustainable) Change Management at Scale

Produced by


Janis Leigh

EVP & Chief People Officer
Giant Eagle

Christine Tutssel

Axonify, Inc.

This insightful discussion between Christine Tutssel, CRO of Axonify, and Janis Leigh, EVP & Chief People Officer of Giant Eagle, unravels the full story behind the champion network and influencer strategy that drove company-wide change at Giant Eage. The focus of the conversation was on the crucial aspect of successful and sustainable change management at scale, with a particular emphasis on the retail industry's challenges and opportunities.

Janis Leigh provided a glimpse into Giant Eagle, a grocery retailer with a diverse business portfolio, including supermarkets, pharmacies, and fuel and convenience stores. With $11 billion in sales and a team of 36,000 members, the company faces the unique challenge of effectively engaging and educating its hourly team members, a significant portion of whom are unionized.

Initiation of Change:
The discussion unfolded with Janis sharing the trigger for change at Giant Eagle. The company, undergoing a transformation and embracing new technologies, recognized the need for an innovative approach to learning and communication. The board's challenge led them to explore the possibilities of the Axonify platform, a digital tool designed to enhance engagement and knowledge retention among team members.

Champion Network and Influencer Strategy:
Janis delved into the challenges they encountered during the transformation, primarily related to the traditional onboarding and communication processes. The need for change was apparent, and they strategically employed a champion network and influencer strategy to drive adoption. By identifying enthusiastic team members as champions and integrating localized, relevant content, Giant Eagle aimed to make the learning experience engaging and valuable for each individual.

Digital Adoption and Platform Engagement:
The conversation shifted towards the implementation of the Axonify platform and its impact on team members. The ability to access the platform on handheld devices, coupled with gamification elements, significantly increased engagement. Janis highlighted the success of their communication strategy, leveraging the platform to disseminate information effectively, especially in a unionized environment with diverse business units.

Localized Messaging and Community Engagement:
Addressing questions from the audience, Janis elaborated on the platform's capacity for localized messaging and community engagement. Giant Eagle leveraged the tool to create communities within the organization, enabling targeted communication and fostering a sense of belonging among team members. This localization extended to promoting local products and initiatives within specific stores.

Overcoming Turnover Challenges:
A pertinent question was raised about overcoming challenges related to high staff turnover, especially in weekend-oriented roles. Janis emphasized the importance of consistently delivering personalized learning experiences, utilizing gamification, and recognizing individual progress. The use of points and rewards, such as tickets to sports events, provided tangible incentives, fostering a positive and engaging atmosphere.

Continuous Improvement and Employee Recognition:
Janis stressed the significance of a continuous feedback loop and the importance of recognizing and celebrating wins. By regularly reviewing metrics, understanding store leaders' perspectives, and evolving the platform based on feedback, Giant Eagle aimed for sustained engagement. Additionally, recognizing and rewarding employees for their achievements played a crucial role in reinforcing positive behaviors.

In conclusion, this discussion between Christine Tutssel and Janis Leigh unveiled the intricacies of implementing successful and sustainable change management at scale in the retail sector. Giant Eagle's journey with the Axonify platform showcased the effectiveness of combining innovative digital tools, localized strategies, and continuous improvement initiatives to drive engagement, learning, and operational excellence across a diverse workforce.

APRIL 2024