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Key Idea: Hire People Who Want To Move Up

In the early years, most of Navarro Pharmacy's employees were family members. But their success in growing their business soon made that impossible.

Key Question:


Be open and honest that you expect every person you hire to grow as the company grows. At Navarro today's broom pusher is next month's cashier working toward a goal of store manager.  This is because Gloria is always looking for individuals who want to advance through the company.

If an individual's aspirations end with the position (s)he is applying for, Navarro Pharmacy is probably not a good fit. At Navarro Pharmacy, they recognize that the successful hiring process does not end with an offer of employment.

Management continues to emphasize the core values of the corporation and its commitment to customer service, with all their employees. And as important as reinforcing that culture is, it is equally important to provide the employees with the tools and education necessary to perform well. The Navarro's powerful combination of providing a nurturing environment along with setting clear expectations positions each employee to succeed. And when the employees succeed we all know the business succeeds.

Q: How do you impart your culture, your values, and your expectations to your employees?

A: Often and then again! Corporate values and commitments make up corporate cultures. State them clearly and in writing. Put them on the wall, on your letterhead and business cards, on your sales collateral, even on the company T-shirt. Repeat them, celebrate them at all company wide functions, including holiday parties. And most importantly, "walk the talk", set the example.

If you try to impress upon your employees that customer service is of paramount importance in your business and they overhear you making disparaging remarks about a customer, well, you might as well burn those T shirts. You heard Louis Navarro tell us that every day he is in a different store, usually on a surprise basis, offering his counsel and support. As the business has expanded, his efforts have become even more critical to the company's success.

Just by his presence, he is making a clear statement to all of his employees, "This store is important, that's why I'm here."

Think about it

What would happen in your business if all of your employees acted like you do? How can you be more the person you want others to emulate?

Clip from: Navarro Discount Pharmacies

Miami: In this city, a destination for new Spanish-speaking Americans, finding somebody who understands you, knows and feels your pain, is a seismic relief. With a profound empathy, this family's business is committed to service and to solving very big problems for their customers.

With an abiding willingness-to-serve, this family's business is one of the most profitable per square foot of any retail store in the USA. When we taped this story there were 12 locations generating $160 million in annual sales and jobs for nearly 600.

So many new medicines are announced every day, it is almost impossible for anyone to keep up. But, those new Americans with a limited command of English, and our elders who are taking multiple medicines, have special challenges.

This family has always been committed to serving their customers. Eighteen-hour days, seven-days-a-week -- whatever it took to get the job done and keep their customers in good health -- these people have done it.
In the process, they have created a first-class business.

Opened in the United States in 1961, the two sons became pharmacists; and today, with 600+ employees, they have become the most productive pharmacy per square foot in the USA and they are a force for good that is helping to reshape Miami as a world-class community.

A classic family business, three generations of compassionate people are involved at every level of the operations.

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Navarro Discount Pharmacies

Jose Navarro, CEO

5959 NW 37th Ave
Miami, FL 33142

Visit our web site:

Office: 305-633-3000

Business Classification:
Retail, Pharmacy

Year Founded: 1961

Hire People Who Want To Move Up

HATTIE: How do you find these people that you hire who can cultivate that?

JOSE: My wife is the one in charge of the hiring. You know, she goes through a very long process in selecting somebody.

GLORIA NAVARRO: It's not just hiring the person and putting them to work and forget about them, you know. We continue the rapport. We continue to see, you know, who does what best. I put a lot of emphasis on the fact that customer service is very, very important for us. We put a lot of emphasis on the fact that there's great opportunities for advancement. All the managers that we have in the 11 stores are people who have started working with us as stockmen, cashiers, whatever.

HATTIE: How do you know that's the right person? What does the behavior look like when you say, `Oh, that's going to be a manager' or `That person's on the way up' or `We're going to'...

GLORIA: The desire, the desire to do better, to really advance, to be the best they can be. Actually, that's it. And in some cases, you know, we have sent people--like, for instance, we have a lot of people who don't speak English very well. And in some cases, we have send them to Berlitz or, you know, a language program.

HATTIE: Right.

GLORIA: And they have done well, and they have been able to apply to a better position.

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