Interaction with Worldwide JINS Members Gave Me Awareness, Pleasure and a Sense of Responsibility as a Member of a Global Company

CULTURE2021.07.14

  • #global
  • #Inspiring
  • #Interview
  • #Progressive
  • #Store Creators

Ryan is a store manager of the Union Square store, the flagship store in JINS US. He experienced a big change of awareness after the interaction with worldwide JINS members in KEKKIKAI 2018. Also, he realized the importance of adapting to any changes by experience the unpredictable and challenging situation in the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. We interviewed him about the lessons he learned and what he notices.

I could come out of my shell
after meeting all people and working at JINS

Ryan
Store director
Union Square Store, JINS US

I joined JINS US in December 2016. A year later, I became a manager and now work at Union Square store in San Francisco.
Comparing to current myself and me before joining JINS, I feel like a different person, lol. Although now I am a leader of the team and the side of supporting teammates, I was really shy and having difficulty interacting with people before working at JINS.

However, I came out of my shell since I started working at JINS. It doesn’t mean the company forced me to do it. I assume it’s because I have been around great coworkers. Especially, the area director helped me to learn to get comfortable. Also, constantly interacting with customers, helped me to build that confidence. Now I love to teach people and work on educating new staff with passion.
The attractiveness of JINS is that I feel I’m always growing and learning. We always have a goal, and after achieving one goal, we move toward the next one. I feel like I’m improving in an environment where you try something every day, and I’m also glad to watch my team grow.

Unpredictable COVID-19 situation improves team maturity

It’s been 3 years since I became a store manager. After becoming a store manager, I started spending a lot of time “thinking.” For example, I’m always thinking about how to make a higher quality customer experience, how to grow staff, stores, and myself. The hardest time being a store manager is when you can’t come up with a better solution even if you think hard.

Especially, the COVID-19 pandemic gives us such a hard time. First, we had no idea how long we have to close the store. And even if the business suspension request got removed, we were unsure how to operate the store with safety measures or what we would do unless we cannot open up the store. I couldn’t give a confident answer. But actually, after the store opened, I think we could manage to adapt to the rapidly changing situation. Although it was not easy with different store operations, customer service, such as a limitation on the number of visitors and disinfection operation, learning how to constantly adapt to sudden changes has become an important aspect of me.

Also, there was a big change with the team. Unfortunately, not everyone on the team could come back, but I feel the staff who stayed got closer, and we built more trust. Because of the difficult situation, we have a stronger desire to help each other. My teammates helped me even when I was having a hard time. Consequently, each of us grows and we came out of mature as a team.

Interacting with worldwide JINS members
changed my motivation and purpose

The most memorable event for me was attending the JINS 30th KEKKIKAI in 2018. It was an unforgettable event to interact with JINS people around the world.
It was also a valuable experience to learn about the state of stores and cultural differences in each country. For example, many American customers buy progressive lenses because they tend to pick and choose one pair of perfect multi-purpose lenses. I was very surprised to hear that customers often buy multiple glasses for different purposes in Japan, such as “single vison reading only” or “single vison distance only.”
Above all, it was a great impact to me to realize once again that we are a “global company” that is expanding our business to people all over the world.
Before the KEKKIKAI, I was only focusing on stores and the customers in San Francisco. But I realized that JINS is a company that continues to take on challenges to enrich people’s lives around the world, not just in the areas where we live. That changed my aspect of working at JINS.

I immediately had a team meeting after came back to the US and talked about what I felt showing the staff the photos I took in Japan. I wanted my teammates to realize that they are part of a global company and that JINS staff around the world are working towards one common goal.
When you work in a particular area, you tend to work only thinking about that area.
That is why I expect that the staff working at JINS around the world will experience the kind of change in consciousness that I have felt. I believe that the way of working and its aspects would change by knowing the vision that JINS is aiming for and each person expanding their horizons to the world and trying to embody JINS’s vision.

※The contents of this article are the information on services and initiatives provided in the U.S.

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