Charlie Bailes: A Peek Inside a 4-Generation Family Business (Ep. #29)

By
The Better Manager Team
BetterManager Executive Coach

March 9, 2021

Building Better Managers Podcast Episode #29: A Peek Inside a 4-Generation Family Business

Charlie Bailes, VP of HR at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, joins us to look at the advantages of a multi-generational, family-owned business. Topics include workplace culture, hiring & retention, leadership development, and long-term vs short-term priorities.

In this episode:

Meet Charlie:

  • Charles Bailes IV is a 4th generation family member and a top executive running a 9-figure family-owned business. As VP of Human Resources and Internal Distribution of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, he oversees 126 stores in Florida and over 1,600 employees.
  • He is a husband, a dad of 3, an executive, an entrepreneur, a CrossFitter, a health nut and a lover of going to bed at 8PM – all in that order. He loves meeting new people and having meaningful conversations.
  • His main goal is to inspire others to act to help themselves.

Differences Between A Family Owned Business vs A Corporation or Public ompany?

  • When you work for a family business, you'll often hear that the culture is that of the team members (employees) really do feeling like they are part of the family.
  • Live your mission statement. Most companies don't know their mission statement and then beyond that, most companies don't live by their mission statement.
  • Ours is pretty simple - it's to make every day better for our team members and guests. We have team members in front of the word guests for a reason, because our thought is that if we take care of our team members - if we give them all the tools to succeed - the guest is going to be taken care of. We don't even have to think about it, success is guaranteed at that point.
  • A family business has a commitment to a longer-term view than many corporations. Each generation really takes the responsibility of passing the best possible operation onto the next generation instead of obsessing about short-term profits.

Recruiting & Retaining The Best Talent

  • I actually have a different answer than I'm sure most of the world thinks about retaining talent. We certainly value our team members, and we're going to do everything we can to protect ones that we want to keep.
  • We're a family business that has a family culture, we offer all the great benefits that other companies do - health, 401k, you name it. If you work for us for six-to-nine months, you're probably going to work for us for two or three years or more.
  • If they're not a fit for this culture, people self select. We have a very "Zappos-esque" culture and mentality, that even if someone's really good at their job, if they don't fit in our culture, they probably are not going to stay. We're not really in the "talent retention" business, we're in the "finding the right personalities that fit with our culture, then training and supporting them" business. That way they have the best chance to succeed.
  • Getting applicants to self-select and self-disqualify. We tell our hiring managers and our district managers to have the mentality that you're not trying to "sell the job," you're trying to sell them not to take the job. We're very transparent with our applicants: you're going to be standing all day; you're going to be lifting very heavy cases of wine; here's our culture; here's our mission statement; here's our core values; here's what you're gonna do on the job and it's a lot of it's a lot of grunt work - cash registers, heavy cases, merchandising displays.
  • But the people that end up wanting to work in our stores, they love it. It's an active job where you get to interact with people, so that needs to be part of their DNA from the beginning.

Downloads & Resources

Follow Charlie on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Check out the ABC Fine Wine & Spirits website here.

Subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast platform!

Check out our blog articles on Leadership here.

About Charlie Bailes

Charles Bailes IV is a 4th generation family member and a top executive running a 9-figure family-owned business. As VP of Human Resources and Internal Distribution of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, he oversees 126 stores in Florida and over 1,600 employees.

He is a husband, a dad of 3, an executive, an entrepreneur, a CrossFitter, a health nut and a lover of going to bed at 8PM – all in that order. He loves meeting new people and having meaningful conversations. His main goal is to inspire others to act to help themselves.

Episode Transcript

Posted on

March 9, 2021