We strongly believe that for our policies and practices to be effective, they must evolve and be informed by the perspectives of our many stakeholders, including our Associates, customers, investors, and others. Therefore, we strive to maintain an open dialogue with these important groups to achieve our goals.
At the corporate level and across our divisions, we have many different ways to engage our Associates. We believe Associate engagement, relationship building, and our open-door philosophy, are key to maintaining our culture. We want our Associates to be informed about our businesses and encourage them to learn and grow through both formal and informational interactions, – all which can help strengthen our inclusive culture so Associates feel welcome, valued, and engaged. As such, we have many different ways to communicate with and hear from our Associates, which became even more vital in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted how we interact in the workplace.
As we transitioned to a remote workforce in 2020 for our office Associates, we also migrated our in-person communications events to virtual. We were pleased to be able to continue engaging our remote Associates through Town Hall meetings, State of the Company meetings, and CEO updates. Additionally, we continued to publish The Thread, our global intranet, and The Loop, a weekly e-newsletter, which disseminate announcements and facilitate information and policy sharing; TJX geographic-specific publications, such as TJXtra in Europe; and weekly bulletins in various regions around the globe. Also in 2020, to foster relationship building amidst the pandemic, we launched Yammer, a social media tool for office Associates to share information and engage in virtual discussions. In our stores, we share important company information with and receive feedback from our Associates through socially distanced team huddles and in-store bulletin boards. These bulletin boards also feature store news, like volunteer events, fundraising successes, new processes, and more.
In Canada, we participated in The Great Place to Work Institute survey, and in 2020, for the sixth consecutive year, TJX Canada received the distinction of being named a Top 50 Great Place to Work in Canada. Organizations on the 2020 list were ranked using the results of a survey called the Trust Index, which was developed and is administered by the Institute. The survey methodology is backed by 30 years of research and the 2020 survey assessed over 400 organizations, with employee feedback representing over 300,000 Canada-based employees across those organizations. TJX Canada also earned a spot as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People for 2021. The employers on this list are Canada's leaders in attracting and retaining younger employees to their organizations.
Additionally, The JOY Project in Canada has inspired, motivated, and built Associates’ morale. This in-store program is focused on supporting the integral parts of our culture at TJX Canada as we strive to create an overall positive environment by recognizing store Associates for “spreading joy” through random acts of kindness, such as encouraging a co-worker for a job well done or assisting a customer. Further, in our Canadian Distribution Centers, our DRIVE program (Delivering Results, Innovation, and Value through Engagement) seeks to identify best practices and efficiencies through in-the-moment and planned conversations between managers and Associates. Our goal in both of these programs is to drive the importance of building strong connections between managers, Associates, and customers.
Engaging with Our Customers
As the leading off-price apparel and home fashions retailer in the U.S. and worldwide, our customers reflect a broad and diverse demographic. Engaging with our customers allows us to address their changing preferences, tastes, and concerns. One way we measure our success is by asking customers to rate their experience using online customer satisfaction surveys. Based on what we hear from our customers, we regularly provide Store Operations management with feedback regarding store performance so they may identify opportunities and address issues quickly – and ultimately improve the in-store experience.
Each retail chain has a website that highlights seasonal offerings, store locations, and contact information for Customer Service groups. In 2020, these websites were also one way that we were able to communicate important information related to the pandemic and to our stand for racial justice. Our brands also leverage social media channels for real-time feedback on store experiences.
We share more about the many ways we engage with our customers on the Serving Our Customers page of our website.
Engaging with Our Investors
We speak regularly with shareholders throughout each year via investor meetings, conferences, and phone calls. Held mostly in virtual formats in 2020, these interactions allow us to engage with the investor community regarding our Company’s financial performance and on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters. We listen to our shareholders’ insights and perspectives thoughtfully, considering what is best for our many stakeholders and our Company overall.