The Luxury Jewelers Resource Group, a consortium of 12 independent family-owned jewelry retailers with 65 total stores, was recognized this month by Training Magazine for excellence in employee development.
LJRG was the only honoree from the jewelry industry on the list, which included such iconic companies as Sun Microsystems, Wachovia Bank, Best Buy, Microsoft, and Hard Rock International. The 125 chosen organizations are ranked according to a range of qualitative and quantitative factors including financial investment in employee development, scope of the programs, and how closely the efforts are linked to business goals and objectives.
LJRG is unique among jewelry industry retailers in that they meet regularly to share information, exchange views, participate in joint projects, and work for the collective betterment of each organization in the group. Among their most ambitious collaborations was the establishment of the LJRG Leadership Academy, designed to cultivate the professional growth of their employees and management, promote team building, and encourage staff development. The group members say they believe that this is an effective way to ensure the continuation of their businesses and maintain the leadership role that many of them have within the jewelry industry.
“As large independent retailers, we at LJRG must compete with the best stores in the country,” said LJRG president Marc Fink. “We can only be successful at that if our employees are as knowledgeable and skilled as possible. The Leadership Academy has given us a step up on the competition not only because of the quality of the training, but by the loyalty it inspires from employees who understand that we appreciate their value to our organizations and want them to grow with us.”
The curriculum for the LJRG Leadership Academy was formulated by the principals and senior management of the LJRG working with consultants to incorporate the fundamentals of leadership, training, human resources, service, business acumen and security. Each seminar is conducted by “invitation only” and only the best performing associates as well as those exemplifying the best potential for leadership and growth are chosen to attend.
To date, more than 150 employees of the 13 retailers have graduated the program. Recently, a secondary Web-based program was developed to provide ongoing training for all employees. That program now has seven available training “modules,” with more in development.