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Home Depot Exec: Happy Workers, Better Store

How employees interact with each other and customers directly relates to store performance, according to Home Depot executive Ann-Marie Campbell.

This fall, Campbell—who is executive vice president of U.S. stores—ranked No. 20 on Fortune‘s 2016 Most Powerful Women List, which highlights the American business world’s most important female executives.

Fortune recently published a video interview with Campbell in which she discusses the relationship between employee engagement and a store’s success. The insight she offers is applicable to retail stores of a variety of types and sizes.

“What I look for primarily is a high level of engagement because when that’s the output, the other things are doing well,” Campbell says in the video.

She does both announced and unannounced store visits. And she can read employees’ behavior even if they’re trying to put on a show for her, Campbell says.

“By the way the associates engage with you personally and the level of comfort, you can also sense how well that store’s performing,” she says. “You can’t really fake being happy. You can say the right things, but [I] can sense if the store is not at its optimal.”

Her interpretations of employee interactions closely match how successful a store location is when she looks at data, she says.

Campbell reports to Craig Menear, Home Depot chairman, president and CEO. She runs the company’s three U.S. divisions, which include nearly 2,000 stores.

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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