This is the first of three imaginary businesses that we will be covering here on the Happy Team Check blog.  We’ll be writing about these businesses from time to time, so do stay tuned!


Sara Flensburg started Shoes’R’Us to solve what she felt was an important problem: how do you bring Asian quality and style to the heart of Europe? Inspired by her travels, she first brought several pairs of shoes to sell in Cologne before starting her first store in 1974.

From that one small store, Shoes’R’Us has since grown to become a well-respected brand in Germany, even taking its business online in 2007. But who said growing a business is easy? With rapid growth comes a variety of challenges, chief among them how to deal not just with bringing more people on board, but also keeping the very talent that has helped your company become what it is.

Like many rapidly-growing companies, Shoes’R’Us has had many ups and downs with its employees. Although it was growing rapidly and had approached fifty employees, many of its stores started seeing declines in sales even in successful markets. At the company’s first store on Spitalerstraße in Hamburg, half the team left. What exactly was going on at such a successful company, and how could this have happened?

With Happy Team Check’s employee surveys, Sara decided to figure out what was going on at her company. What then was going on?

  • Commitment doesn’t always equal motivation. While many employees are happy with the company’s commitment to the values it was built upon when it was first founded, some employees felt that their roles didn’t fit the company’s vision. Many weren’t motivated by their jobs and didn’t feel like they were making a difference at Shoes’R’Us, leading to a lack of employee satisfaction.
  • Management can make or break understanding, and the company’s efforts are understanding its employees aren’t always consistent. While one manager was unable to effectively articulate this into manageable targets, exacerbating conflict at one end of the company, on the other end another manager was able to win the trust of his team because he understood what they wanted and was able to deliver. There was no effective employee communication.
  • At Shoes’R’Us, understanding didn’t necessarily translate to well-being. Many employees felt undervalued by the company, with their work not translating into meaningful pay or benefits despite the company growing rapidly. Employee morale was low and they felt like they had no voice in the company.

These are issues that can make or break companies, and Sara is now in a better position to really understand what is happening at Shoes’R’Us where before she had no idea what exactly was going on. Armed with newly-gathered data thanks to Happy Team Check, she can more confidently make critical decisions that can make life better for her many employees without having to rely on intuition or gut feeling to make the decisions for her.

It isn’t easy to find warning signs in any corporation, and we’re here to make it easier for you and your employees to better give feedback so that you can better make those critical decisions. After all, it’s your company that’s on the line.

This is the power of data. This is what Happy Team Check can do for you.