Employee Engagement a Vital Cog in WD-40’s Success

Employee engagement is a staggeringly high priority at the offices of WD-40.

In the loyalty industry, solid employee engagement breeds customer engagement, which, in turn, breeders brand loyalty.

Consider the following: More than 92 percent of WD-40 employees agree or feel excited about the following corporate items:

The work they do at WD-40 Company gives them a sense of personal accomplishment.

They have the freedom to decide how to accomplish their goals.

About the WD-40 Company’s future direction.

WD-40 Company encourages employees to continually improve in their job, to make it “better than it is today.”
During the company’s recent third-quarter earnings call, CEO Garry Ridge said that he hopes to grow employee engagement to more than 95 percent.

“Strategic initiative No. 4 is to attract, develop and retain outstanding tribe members,” Ridge explained. “The goal of this initiative is to attract, develop, and retain talented tribe members. Our long-term target under this initiative is to grow employee engagement to greater than 95 percent. As we shared with our investors earlier this fiscal year, we completed the acquisition of a new building that will house our San Diego-based tribe members. We are currently in the final process of renovating the property and expect to relocate our tribe to the new office facilities in late August.”

Founded in 1953, WD-40’s typical uses include removing dirt and extricating jammed screws and bolts. It can also be used to loosen stubborn zippers and displace moisture.

Company sales reached $98.2 million for the third quarter of fiscal year 2017, which was an increase of 2 percent from the third quarter of last fiscal year and a new company record. Net income jumped more than 14 percent, to $14.4 million.

Ridge noted the company’s other strategic initiatives.

No. 1 is to grow the WD-40 Multi-Use Product. “Our important strategic initiative is to take the blue and yellow can with a little red top to more places for more people who will find more uses more frequently,” he said.

No. 2 is to grow the WD-40 Specialist product line. “Once we have built equity and established the power of the shield in a particular geography, we can leverage that brand recognition to develop new product lines like WD-40 Specialist. In the third quarter, global sales of WD-40 Specialist was $7.3 million, which represents a 30 percent increase over the third quarter of last year.”

No. 3 is to broaden the product and revenue base. “Our goal under this initiative is to leverage the recognized strengths of WD-40 Company to derive revenue from new sources and brands,” he said. “We continue to expand the product offerings within our 3-IN-ONE and GT85 brands as well as WD-40 BIKE. In the third quarter, we launched 3-IN-ONE RBK product line. It’s a very early time for this, but we are excited and see lots of future opportunity with maintenance products in this new channel.”

No. 5 is operational excellence. “We are continuously focused on optimizing resources, systems, and processes as well as applying a rigorous commitment to quality assurance, regulatory compliance and intellectual property protection,” Ridge added. “Recently, we held our annual R&D and quality summit, where our researchers, scientists, and quality assurance tribe members gathered together to collaborate and gain alignment on some of the global opportunities and challenges our tribe is facing related to quality assurance, innovation, and regulatory compliance. The summit is a living breathing example of our tribe consistently striving to make it better than it is today.”

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