You Are Viewing

A Blog Post

Case Study: How a Retail Giant Made Big Changes to Workplace Culture

Gap Inc LogoWe have a little, tiny secret to share with you all. No wait, it’s actually huge and kind of a big deal! 

Our friends at Gap Inc. have been working really hard over the last few years, rolling out Results-Only Work Enviroment across several divisions since their 2008 pilot. It’s massive, and the results have been amazing!  It seems like only yesterday that we conducted a Leadership Summit for them and the decision was made to move forward with the pilot.  The rest is history, with several Gap individuals becoming licensed to execute training using the CultureRx ROWE training process.  We’ve worked with them to create a new case study, with details about their challenges, solutions and results of ROWE training and implementation. Below we’ve shared a short excerpt from the case study. You can download the full version here.

The economic climate of the past several years has been challenging for industries across the board, and clothing retail has been no exception. Response strategies are varied, from aggressive traditional marketing to increased reliance on social media and real-time customer engagement.

Gap Inc. chose to look within to find solutions, and in 2008 began a pilot implementation of Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE), utilizing the proven CultureRx training process, in its Outlet Division corporate headquarters. The primary objectives of the pilot were to test solutions to work/life flexibility-related employee engagement and turnover issues, and to enable increased levels of ?off hours? e-sourcing. Based on the succes of the pilot, in 2011 ROWE was rolled out to other corporate divisions. Currently in place in corporate offices, Gap brand hopes to bring ROWE into the retail store environment within the next two years.

Gap Inc. has called ROWE a ?cultural revolution,? allowing employees to have complete autonomy over how they approach their work and focus on being accountable for results. Management and employees report an increase in the overall energy and engagement level, greater focus on quality rather than simply meeting deadlines, and an overall sense of trust among employees at all levels of the organization.


The adoption of ROWE has represented a true cultural shift within Gap. Aside from all the other benefits, the environment itself is attractive to current and potential employees. From all the quarterly surveys conducted, 75% of employee comments say that the most special aspect of Gap?s work environment is ROWE.

ROWE has proven to be a significant factor in talent attraction and retention, as well as market differentiation?even among brands under the Gap umbrella. This was one of the reasons other divisions within Gap Inc. were anxious to go through next rounds of training once results from the pilot implementation were reported.

gap results 


Employee quotes:

?ROWE really lets me prioritize my time,? reports one employee. ?I feel empowered and actually more responsible at my job. It makes me feel more in control and in charge of my work.?

?I was recruited very strongly for another position outside the company with slightly better pay but much closer to my home,? reported a Gap Inc. employee. ?I can honestly say that if it wasn?t for [ROWE] I would have taken that job.?

One Employee?s story

ROWE has been tremendous with regard to allowing my team to have autonomy in what we do and building a culture of trust and accountability. All they have to do is make sure they’re delivering results. ROWE can be really scary for organizations, but one of the greatest things is it opens up lines of communication between team members and leaders. ROWE has been trust-formative for my family. I have a three-hour round trip commute via the BART train. ROWE allows me to work two days a week from home and be flexible with my schedule. We’ve been able to move to the suburbs with better schools for my kids which has been life changing for all of us.  – Catrina Lee, Gap 

[Quelle/Source (Link): Cali and Jodi Blog]