Guiding Rite Aid’s ‘Path to the Future’ by investing in experience through associates

Press enter to search
Close search
Open Menu

Guiding Rite Aid’s ‘Path to the Future’ by investing in experience through associates

By Jessica Kazmaier, Rite Aid - 06/25/2019
I’ve always been very proud to be part of the Rite Aid team. I’ve been with the company for nearly 20 years, and I feel extremely fortunate to be part of an organization that appreciates and fosters the growth and development of our associates. This is a company that understands that there is nothing more powerful than a fully engaged team working together to deliver caring moments that matter most to our customers and patients.

Now, as I take on a new role as senior vice president and chief human resources officer, I remain committed to building on that unique culture and our core strengths and values, while remaining nimble and open-minded in an ever-changing and competitive environment. As an HR team, our role will be to deliver the type of associate experience that empowers our team to deliver a great customer experience and ultimately grow our business.

Our people are critical to bringing our “Path to the Future” strategy to life and need to be empowered to deliver a customer-centric experience, drive innovation and grow the business. We need to continue to be well-positioned to earn the business of our loyal customers and win over new ones. Our customers have high expectations and considerable choice: it’s up to us to know them and anticipate their needs.

So, how do we intend to fulfill this commitment to our customers, patients, associates and communities? I’ll focus on three key areas for our human resources team:

First, we have to ensure the development of strong leaders at all levels in the organization who can empower associates to understand our customers’ needs and make decisions based on these interactions. Good leadership doesn’t just happen, it’s something we intentionally nurture and develop. Especially during a period of organizational change, effective leadership is critical, and our leaders remain focused on being visible and communicating our strategy in a credible and personable way.

Second, we must engage and communicate authentically so all associates know they’re a valued part of the team. We’re a close-knit organization and our story is a good one: Rite Aid’s core values and mission make this a great place to work. A key piece of this is having a
feedback-rich environment where people feel able to express ideas and make suggestions.

Finally, we need to enable and accelerate business growth through diversity and inclusion. Diversity for Rite Aid really means celebrating differences and the value of open-mindedness. Rite Aid is focused on building a culture that embraces a full spectrum of human differences and experiences. As an example, we’re proud of the diversity of our board of directors, furthered by the recent appointment of two additional women. We also understand that inclusivity, that feeling of belonging and fully participating in the organization, only serves to strengthen all of us.

Rite Aid has a culture that’s known for showing resolve when faced with a challenge. I’ve often said that Rite Aid feels more like a family or community than a large organization. We share a passion for serving customers and patients and supporting our fellow associates at the highest levels. The unique challenges of the past several years have brought us closer together and have made us even more determined to succeed. Make no mistake, we want to win and believe we will win. As the leader of the Rite Aid human resources team, I’m very passionate about supporting that kind of culture. Doing so will be critically important as we look to leverage technology in new ways and create a one-of-a-kind, seamlessly connected customer experience.