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Arthur Greeno

Service Through Culture: Meet IHI Conference Keynote Arthur Greeno

Despite facing numerous challenges as a child, Arthur Greeno has found success as an entrepreneur and philanthropist in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As a result of his investments in company culture and his dedication to his team, his two Chick-fil-A restaurants have an average staff tenure of six years, with some members having been with him for over 20 years. Before he takes the stage as a keynote at the Independent Home Improvement Conference in August, Arthur sat down with Hardware Retailing and shared about his path to become an entrepreneur and how company culture is key to customer service.

Hardware Retailing (HR): Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?
Arthur Greeno (AG): I came to be an entrepreneur by accident. I was working as a team member at Chick-fil-A trying to get through college. During a pivotal time in my life, I donned a chicken suit for a Chick-fil-A grand opening. That’s when I decided that Chick-fil-A was the direction I wanted to go.

HR: What are some of the key tenets of your company culture?
AG: When we’re looking at the key concepts for culture, it’s actually pretty simple—we ask, “Are we serving and caring for our team?” If we are truly looking for opportunities to serve and care for our team, there’s no shortage of opportunities. When you strive toward this end, no matter how hard it may be or how much time it might take, you’ll find your culture will thrive.

HR: You say the key to hiring is finding people who have a heart to serve. Where do you find employees who want to serve?
AG: We start by looking in the right places. We created a cheat sheet with 10 to 15 places we turn to when it’s time to recruit. I can reach out to connections there and ask if they have anyone who might want a job. Most people won’t send you inferior employees; if they’re sending you someone, most likely they’re going to be someone they think would be a good fit. Look at those around you who could provide these recommendations—coaches, teachers, counselors, youth, ministers. I use my personal social media to recruit when I’m looking for people.

HR: What does the hiring process look like to bring on people who have a heart to serve?
AG: I am very particular when it comes to interviewing. If I see someone has moved from job to job, I already know they are probably not a good fit for us. When interviewing, we will ask “What extracurricular activities are you involved in?” If a potential employee is involved with the band, on a sports team or volunteers at church, that is a good indication they are committed and reliable and can be counted on to show up for work and be willing to serve customers.

HR: How do you maintain a heart to serve after an employee is hired?
AG: Once an employee is hired, our training program starts, which includes opportunities for employees to serve. Whether it is serving the guest or one another, we publicize when employees are “doing it right” through our televisions, social media and messaging system. We try to emphasize what “right” looks like. We hope that the recognition we give employees motivates them to continue doing right.

HR: Tell us about your philanthropy work.
AG: My mission is to teach, inspire, serve and give generously. One thing I have learned is that I give to what I’m passionate about, it’s a good long-term tool to keep me engaged with organizations. Currently, I serve as president of Tulsa Pop Kids. Our mission is to support literacy through pop culture, which we achieve by providing graphic novels and comic books to children through a number of organizations. I am the chair for the Tulsa Christmas parade, an annual Christmas parade that excites the imagination of the entire city.

Here from keynote speaker Al Comeaux here and stay tuned for the Q&A with the third IHI Conference keynote speaker, Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger.

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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