A culture that “gives a sh#t.”

And caffeinates us, too.

Written by: Tim McCleary, Chief Experience Officer

Do you supercharge each morning with a great cup o’ joe? When I’m not on the road, my day starts with a latte at my favorite Charlotte coffee spot, Not Just Coffee.

Their name is appropriate on so many levels, as you’ll soon see.

Having experienced something consistently special about their culture, I was intrigued to learn about their secret ingredient.

This week, I sat down (over a delicious vanilla sugar latte) with L Burleson, Leader of Staff Development and Customer Care. Yes, this café has one of those.

“We have a rhythm and structure to take care of our staff,” L explained, as I happily sipped my coffee. “Behind the scenes, we call it ‘systematically giving a shit.’ It’s how we develop strong leaders and keep our shops healthy and consistent.”

L was quick to point out that culture will form whether you are intentional about it – or not. “For that reason,” she said, “we set aside dedicated time to hear from staff and support their quality of life in working with us.”

How do they achieve this goal? They hold 1:1s with their people every six months to ask the question: What’s your favorite part of working at Not Just Coffee and how can we make that a bigger part of your role here?

“From there,” L explained, “we work to implement the thoughts and ideas they share to bring out the best in our staff members. This cultivates a culture of listening and loyalty, which ultimately translates into a great customer experience.”

L Burleson and Jake Morgan present their artwork in a cup at Not Just Coffee.

He added, “Creating authentic relationships with staff and customers is what I think it means to ‘systematically give a shit.’ This approach builds a sense of pride and responsibility in each employee.”

This is the stuff of big organizations, right? It’s what most companies strive to achieve within their culture.

This six-location, 44-person operation is delivering an experience far beyond the science of coffee, and many other businesses.

So, the next time you’re in Charlotte, call me. Together, we’ll share a cultural experience – and a great cup of coffee, at Not Just Coffee. (And, it’s on me.)

Thanks for being involved today.

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Urban Emu is an experience agency with a fast growing team of experience designers, facilitators, strategists, researchers, UX/UI designers, and software engineers that create innovative experiences to improve and transform businesses.

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