Dollar General Prioritizes Inclusion Through an Unspoken Language
Apr 15, 2022
Nearly a decade ago, Dollar General’s Fulton, Missouri distribution center (DC) began hosting facility tours for the Missouri School for the Deaf (MSD), introducing students to the operations and showcasing career opportunities within the Company.
“MSD approached our team about hosting their graduating students who were seeking employment opportunities,” said Marcus Glover, Dollar General’s Fulton senior HR manager. “We employ several MSD alumni, so it gave students the chance to network and learn about their roles with the Company, how we accommodate their hearing impairment and provide meaningful work.”
Today, the Fulton DC employs 14 hearing-impaired/deaf employees, one of whom has been employed for nearly 20 years.
Fulton DC operations manager Jeff Emory took those efforts a step further by enrolling in American Sign Language classes to strengthen his communication abilities with his team.
“I started in 2019 with two free classes at the Missouri School for the Deaf and then transitioned to William Woods University in 2020, taking advantage of Dollar General’s tuition reimbursement program,” said Emory. “Part of the coursework covered the lack of understanding and treatment of the deaf in early history. It gave me a better understanding and made me much more aware of and sensitive to our team’s needs.”
Emory shared he wanted to communicate beyond the use of pen and paper, so he set out to learn enough sign language to effectively communicate with his team. He added that his deaf and hearing-impaired teammates help teach him, and he continues to practice the language through online classes.
“To be a servant leader and uphold Dollar General’s mission of Serving Others, I wanted to do something to more effectively communicate,” said Emory. “I feel as a leader, that is my duty. Our employees are our number one asset, and who I serve.”
Dollar General’s success can be attributed to our four operating priorities, one of which is Investing in our diverse teams through development, empowerment and inclusion. This priority serves as the foundation of talent philosophy of ‘Attract, Develop and Retain,’ and the Fulton DC continues to illustrate this foundational and operational priority in a meaningful way.
“We continually strive to make our workplace more inclusive, and we are proud of team members like Jeff who go a step further to improve their day-to-day communication skills,” said Steve Gibson, Fulton DC’s senior director of operations.
Dollar General also works to provide a pathway for career advancement within the organization through on-the-job training and development programs, as well as through a recently-announced partnership with Workforce Edge, which offers debt-free degree options for full-time employees, and access to online courses through Sophia Learning to all employees and their immediate family members.
Individuals interested in learning more or applying for career opportunities are encouraged to visit dollargeneral.com/careers.