Investing in Employee Development & Team Culture

Alliance Retail Group: Investing in Employee Development & Team Culture -Through “5 Rule Friday” Recognition


Alliance Retail Group (ARG) is the premier self-negotiating grocery ad group in the United States. With a history of solid growth and a clear vision of the future, ARG has established itself as a trusted partner for retailers to enhance their operations, boost sales, and drive business growth.

Case Study


Having experienced significant growth and expansion of services to independent retailers, ARG was in search of ways to invest & support its team members across all levels of the organization while instilling a company culture that would drive the correct behaviors, be long lasting, and easy to implement.


A thriving cultural transformation would require an emphasis on organizational culture, individual well-being, and personal growth.

 “The 5 Rules are not just about improving culture. They also apply to being a good person and living the best life possible. That resonated with me,” said Jena Sowers, CEO.

 To achieve this vision, ARG first invested in the leadership team and had Steve Black do an in person workshop on the 5 Rules.  They then launched The 5 Rules in their entire organization with a presentation to all employees by Steve Black, along with a copy of the book, and some fun reminders (water bottles, mouse pads, bracelets) for every employee.

 Additionally, ARG introduced “5 Rule Friday”, a weekly recognition program that empowers employees to nominate their colleagues for exhibiting one or more of The 5 Rules—do your job, be kind, no surprises, no drama, and protect the brand —throughout the workweek.

The “5 Rule Friday” initiative aims to foster a continuous cycle of positive reinforcement, as employees are consistently recognized and encouraged to demonstrate and embrace The 5 Rules in their everyday behaviors.  Each employee that is recognized also gets a small financial incentive as well.

 Key Elements

  • Weekly recognition program
  • Social reinforcement via weekly employee recognition
  • Inclusive: open to all employees across the organization
  • Promotes continuous individual development


Since the introduction of “5 Rule Friday”, employee recognition has seen a significant boost, leading to a flood of positivity within the organization.

 To further solidify the impact of the “5 Rule Friday” program, all new employees at ARG now receive a book covering the core values. At the same time, the company conducts an annual refresher course that deepens employees’ understanding and commitment to The 5 Rules.