By Karissa Barcelo
A family-owned materials distribution firm based in Turkey and in business for over 30 years, brings high quality products to the needs of the construction sector.
Headquarters: Instanbul, Turkey
Sectors: Manufacturing, Construction
Number of Employees: 100+
In 2015, Canpa was facing colossal business challenges, and they came very close to closing their doors for good. Turnover was one of their most expensive problems. “We were training everyone and just when they were good enough to contribute to the company, they left and contributed somewhere else,” says Murat Ozcan, Canpa Vice President.
“On average if we lost 12 people, that cost me about $150,000. That was our loss in retention, just imagine the cost in customer dissatisfaction.”
Things became worse when they were forced to go through with enormous lay-offs. “Pscyhologically, it was a hard time for everyone in the company. We would say never let go of your teammates’ hands and then we had to let go of so many people in one day,” says Murat.
From declining profitability, a 30% employee turnover rate, low productivity, and poor company morale, Canpa’s leadership needed to correct the direction of the company, or they’d face eliminating entire departments, or even worse, closing their doors for good.
Murat read Delivering Happiness [the book] and was inspired to attend a DH Masterclass. The DH team led Murat and the Canpa team through exercises to identify the company’s core values and higher purpose [“To Provide Service to WOW our Customers”]. With this foundation in place, Canpa could finally structure their culture around values-based initiatives and behaviors.
DH coaches brought Canpa through experiential learning sessions to demonstrate the critical factors and impact of the science of happiness. Through these fundamentals, participants aligned their values to promote desired behaviors within their organizational structures.
DH also helped them develop a culture roadmap, so they could start implementing a culture change immediately with objectives and program inventories to stay on track. This roadmap helped to align their culture foundation with their overall business goals [profits, turnover rates, growth].
Soon after returning to Turkey, Murat moved forward with the next steps in Canpa’s culture transformation. They needed to align the executive team and board of directors on initiatives to build a profitable and sustainable company culture. They were now in a better position to reduce their turnover rate by increasing employee engagement, and attracting talent that could fulfill both skill and culture requirements.
Murat also made an incredible discovery. He wasn’t living up to his own values. If an issue came up with the business on a weekend, he’d run and fix that problem, instead of spending time with his son, or reading books he wanted to read. They went back to the drawing board and began implementing the models they learned from Delivering Happiness. They put their employee’s happiness and growth at the forefront, and aligned everyone’s values with the company’s. They implemented team-building events, which is where some of the best ideas were born, when everyone’s minds were at ease. They noticed problems between employees vanish, and instead, everyone would talk about how to grow and improve the business. They added culture to performance reviews, and changed up their office space to make it more fun and engaging.
From 2016 forward, the company saw a 4x increase in revenue, and 7x increase in profit! They saw dramatic improvements in turnover rate from 30% to NEGATIVE percentages – some employees who left and heard about their culture transformation, asked to come back.
“Business grew year after year, and I worked much less,” Murat laughs. “Every aspect of business enhanced, not only retention, but profit, revenue, the amount of customers we gained, and so forth. When you let culture do what it does, which is small acts of kindness, and when you share it with your customers, it makes a big impact.”
Canpa managed to sustain even during Turkey’s national crisis in 2018, when their currency, the lira, hit record lows. The crisis affected small and large businesses across many industries. Inflation and joblessness were alarmingly high, growth was minimal, and fears of what was ahead was on everyone’s mind. As Turkey’s economy tanked, Canpa’s business grew, generating a 4x increase in revenue in 2018 alone. They were awarded FIRST PLACE in Turkey’s 2018 “Great Place to Work” assessment, considered alongside organizations like H&M, Microsoft, E-Bay, and Hilton.
"At the end of the day, in a business of commodities the only way to win is through an emotional connection with the customer. When you win one business, there are more businesses that follow. When you win one heart, one project manager, one construction site, they change companies and they take you with them."
As Murat has shown, an incredible emotional relationship with the customers pays off. Their company events have grown in size, and it’s where many of their customers and their families gather together.
Today, Canpa continues to grow in both profits and size, but more importantly, they have made a big impact on their community. Employees were inspired to live their purpose through community meal-giving. They gave out 50,000 meals in their first year!
“There is nothing compared to the revenue we made through better customer interaction. If we don’t run this business with a happiness-based model, then we don’t do this business. What makes it worth the time and capital are smiles."
DMG’s culture strategy had support from top leadership, but the challenge was to get buy-in from the rest of the organization. Through coach|sulting, DMG created their culture program, which gave employees a sense of ownership of the culture and resulted in a successful transformation. Named a 2019 Middle East Top Employer by the Top Employers Institute.
Canpa was facing challenges from declining profitability, a 30% employee turnover rate, and low company morale. After a DH Masterclass, they experienced record sales and the highest retention rate to date. Won 1st place in Turkey's 2018 Great Place to Work® Assessment.