Putting Our Employees First
Famous economist Milton Friedman once said “the only reason a corporation exists is to maximize the return for the shareholder.” Well, with all due respect to Milton, at The Container Store we take a different approach. We believe that the job of conscious companies is to balance and fulfill the needs of ALL their stakeholders simultaneously.
But for us, we start by putting our employees first in everything that we do. We believe that if we take better care of our employees than anyone else – by paying them better and training them more – that they in turn will take better care of our customers than anyone else. This keeps our customers coming back to see us over and over again, which ultimately benefits our shareholders, too!
This philosophy has been at the heart of The Container Store’s culture since 1978. It’s because of this employee-first culture that FORTUNE magazine has recognized our special company on its annual list of “100 Best Companies to Work For®” for year after year.
And it all starts with our commitment to hiring GREAT people! One of our Foundation Principles™ is that “one great employee is equal to three good employees” in terms of business productivity, so why not hire only GREAT people? Most business people and many retailers have long ago given up on that concept. They just don’t really believe it’s possible to get great people to work on a retail sales floor.
We are extraordinarily dedicated to finding and connecting with great talent. And after we hire GREAT employees, we focus on their training and development. The Container Store offers more than 263 hours of formal training for full-time employees in their first year with us — compared to the industry average of about eight hours. Another of our Foundation Principles™ is, “Intuition doesn’t come to an unprepared mind, you must train before it happens.” Our commitment to providing our salespeople with everything they need to be successful in their careers provides value to employees and customers.
And don’t forget the FUN! Fun is part of the job at The Container Store. Our Air of Excitement Foundation Principle™ is found throughout our stores, home office and distribution center. Life’s too short to not have fun! Fun is an important part of our culture, our customer service and our work environment. It’s all of this and more that allows The Container Store to enjoy close to a 10% annual turnover compared to retail industry averages nearing 100%.