When you come in to Roots, chances are pretty good you'll hear the people behind the counter singing out loud or having a deep conversation about manifesting abundance in their lives. You might walk in on a heated debate on the optimal way to slice a banana or see us slamming a round of ginger shots together. What I hope you see and feel is a group of people having fun, being open, and working to make your experience at Roots as genuine as possible. In order for that to happen, we encourage every Roots employee to express themselves freely. In this second installment of the Roots Values series, we share how and, more importantly, why we do this.
Roots Core Value #2
One thing you'll never see at Roots is a uniform. I can't even imagine asking or, worse, telling a team member to wear the exact same thing as everyone else, everyday. Black cotton chinos and an ill-fitting green polo shirt with embroidered Roots logo? Give me a break! No! At Roots, you're likely to see an assortment of colorful aprons and other eccentric garb adorning our lovely team.
But our commitment to self expression goes way beyond the (absence of a) dress code. We constantly urge our team to pursue their passions and see where they lead. For example, we have an employee who makes jewelry and wants to sell it in the café. Yes, please! We have an employee who directs and designs sets for theater productions and needs extended periods of time-off as the curtain rises. Absolutely! We have an employee training to be a yoga instructor; one whose passion is preventing domestic violence; one who plays live music at our events; one building a health coaching practice; several studying in college. I could go on. Each and every person on our team has our support in terms of access to our space, our advice and ideas, or just some free time to go do something else for a while.
We do this because we all spend a lot of time at work. And it's no way to live if you have to "act" a certain way for such a significant chunk of your precious time on this earth. And we believe our team is more engaged and satisfied with their work because of it and, thus, our customers have a better experience. We believe, in the long-run, we will have higher retention and referral rates from our employees and, thus, our recruiting and training costs will be lower.
There is, as always, a flip side to this coin. Occasionally, there are conflicts between personalities and passions when people are being fully themselves. When these conflicts arise, we deal with them. But we never ask people to change who they are. No! I would rather amicably part ways with someone than to have them try to be something they're not.
Some in our industry might worry about being more "brand consistent" in an effort to build trust with the "audience." Well, fuck that! We are humans, not merely consumers. When we open our hearts and minds, we see through the fake, polished veneer of uniforms and logos. We trust what's genuine; what's real. So we invite you to be yourself when you come in to see us in all of our glory. If I'm there, I'll be the one singing Earth, Wind & Fire in two-part harmony with my friend Zachary.