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Sears Holdings continues to focus on Performance Enablement as the way to ensure our salaried associates are aligning their work and development with the strategic priorities and culture of our organization. Performance Enablement is a set of performance management processes and tools that support our strategic vision and help each associate live our Members First culture, develop leadership capabilities and achieve our key results.  

Salaried associates kick off each new fiscal year by creating or revising their Individual Priorities that represent an associate’s broader key initiatives for the year, and are directly aligned to transparent business unit and company priorities. On a quarterly basis, associates create Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) in alignment with their Individual Priorities and the needs of the business. The OKRs methodology is a framework used by other leading organizations to ensure a more agile focus of efforts than annual goals.


Ongoing feedback is exchanged through tool called SoundBoard. Within the tool, an associate can give and receive feedback at any time with their manager or leadership, internal customers, colleagues, peers and partners. Quarterly check-ins between an associate and their manager facilitate quality discussions around what the associate was working on, how it went, and what is next with regard to quarterly objectives, growth and career development. Together, these tools and their frequency allow for stronger alignment of individual objectives, more frequent conversations rooted in a growth mindset and a more robust perspective of associate behaviors and opportunities for adding value.

Continuing to develop and train our associates is important to our organization. We offer development opportunities through our innovative learning platform, Segno Expertise. Segno Expertise is a gamified, open-learning platform that enables associates to learn what they need, when they need it. Segno also facilitates learning in areas the associate is interested in, not just in those areas that are assigned to the associate. Compliance training and learning content tied to specific roles are also available. With the launch of Segno and the continual transformation of learning content and innovative strategies, Sears Holdings has won multiple Brandon Hall awards for achievements in learning. In 2017, we received a Gold Brandon Hall Award for Best Use of Games and Simulations for Learning for one of our compliance courses.

Retail Leadership Development Programs

A number of programs are available to help develop Retail leadership, starting at the hourly level in our stores. Both Kmart and Sears have a Growing Entry Level Management (GEM) program designed to develop talented store-level hourly associates who have the aspiration and potential to be considered for assistant store manager positions. The program has been a successful investment in our future leadership.

Additionally, we provide new Kmart and Sears store managers with a structured learning curriculum to prepare them with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in their roles. The content of the academies covers everything from financials to leadership through a series of eLearning programs, webinars, discussions and sessions at the corporate office. The content is reinforced through hands-on opportunities at training stores. Participation by new hires in the academies have shown an impact on key store performance metrics and are highly regarded by senior leaders at SHC. 

Similar leadership development programs are offered for roles from assistant store manager to regional director roles.  In 2017, we were awarded two Brandon Hall Group Silver Awards for Excellence in Leadership Development in the categories of Best Advance in Leadership Development Strategy and Best Use of Blended Learning. This was the second year in a row SHC has won awards for these programs.

Sears Roadshow for Home Appliance, Mattress and Lawn & Garden

Each year, several of our business units partner with our top vendors to take our new and exciting product offerings on the road. In 2017, separate roadshows took place for Home Appliances, Mattress and Lawn & Garden businesses. Our instructors visited several major cities across the country to further build our associates’ selling skills and help our associates understand how to best meet our customers’ needs with the latest technological advancements in the products we offer. Additionally, the roadshows give our associates an opportunity to learn about the environmental and social benefits offered by our own brand products and those of our valued partners. Portions of the roadshows are also recorded and made available to associates who were not able to participate in person.  These valuable learning opportunities prepare our associates to assist our customers throughout their purchase so they find the product that best fits their life.

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