Employee Involvement: The Home Depot Way

bmfwong    October 7, 2015


The Home Depot

Organisation Name: The Home Depot

Industry: Retail

References: The Home DepotForbes, Team Depot, Babson College


From the start, the Home Depot made a strategic decision to do a long-term approach by training its employees to form enduring customer relationships rather than push for incremental sales gains. As a result, the Home Depot grew very quickly becoming the fastest retailer in history to reach sales milestones of $30 billion, $40 billion, $50 billion, $60 billion and $70 billion in revenues through its outstanding customer service.

By 2005, however, the Home Depot had become the worst performing retailer for customer satisfaction according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). As a critic stated, “Home Depot had devalued its most critical asset: the health of customer relationships.” It wasn’t until the end of 2006 when Frank Blake took over as CEO began by investing $2 billion in five key areas: 1) associate engagement, 2) product excitement, 3) product availability, 4) shopping environment and 5) professional or trade customer. Eventually investment in these key areas paid off as sales improved by 2010 and 2011.

The Home Depot’s website lists their core values which “are the fabric of the Company’s unique culture and are central to our success. In fact, they are our competitive advantage in the marketplace.” Two of the Home Depot’s core values are important to note:

  1. Taking care of our people:
    The key to our success is treating people well. We do this by encouraging associates to speak up and take risks, by recognizing and rewarding good performance and by leading and developing people so they may grow.
  1. Giving back to our communities:
    An important part of the fabric of The Home Depot is giving our time, talents, energy and resources to worthwhile causes in our communities and society.

While these two values are only two out of the eight core values that the company carries, it does speak to the Home Depot’s emphasis on employee engagement and satisfaction which helps increase its bottom line.

Employee Involvement: Team Depot



The Home Depot Employees are encouraged and empowered to take a leadership role in the community through a program called Team Depot. Team Deport is the Home Depot’s foundation focuses putting an end to youth homelessness. Projects include things such as installing a new kitchen, painting and refreshing common living areas and planting gardens and green spaces help these facilities feel more like home, and supports local youth-serving organizations as they provide much-needed life skills development and job training for homeless youth.Team Depot is an  associate-led volunteer program means that employees dictate how they want to help the community.  Although employee involvement through the foundation is not mandatory, it helps increase overall job satisfaction through doing good in the community.

Social Media Presence

The Home Depot uses its social media presence to actively engage its stakeholders (employees, customers, potential candidates) with amazing transparency. The company’s Facebook is used as a platform for feedback from its employees as well as customers. Their page is filled with posts that can range from application status to suggestions in changes of company policies. The Home Depot’s social media team is so responsive that nearly no inquiry goes unanswered. Part of the company’s success is its integration with its employees and willingness to embrace technology, as well as having a clear, concise message of its core values.


Part of the Home Depot’s success lies in the company’s commitment to employee participation and training. First, employees felt their companies cared about something other than profits. Second, the volunteer opportunities gave employees a chance to socialize in a relaxed setting. In the end, companies received positive recognition for their efforts, and their teams walked away with stronger interpersonal connections. Finally, The Home Depot integrates their social media presence between all of their stakeholders.

Submitted By: Benjamin Wong, SMBP Student, University of Waterloo

To contact the author of this entry please email at: bmfwong@gmail.com

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