For people like Kip Tindell, this philosophy is a no-brainer. Kip is the founder and CEO of The Container Store, one of the largest and most recognizable retail brands in the United States. He was recently recognized by the National Retail Federation for his success with The Container Store, which is consistently listed among the ‘100 Best Places to Work’ and recognized as a Fortune top 50 employer.
Kip attributes the company’s success to one simple philosophy: if you focus on treating your employees exceptionally well, they’ll focus on treating your customers the same way.
CBS News recently interviewed Kip and other Container Store employees. Click the image below to watch the video (I couldn’t embed it here).
Just a few quotes from Kip’s interview:
“We focus on the employee the most. Not even the customer, the employee… If you take better care of the employee than anybody else, they’ll take better care of the customer than anybody else, and then wonderfully and ironically enough, the shareholder will be very happy too.
“You walk in the store and you can feel it. Everybody that’s in the store loves to be there. The customers love to be there. The employees love to be there.
“You can’t go around calling yourself an employee-first culture and then lay people off, so we didn’t do that… Everybody was very happy to not get 401K for a couple years, to freeze their salaries, because they know they’re literally saving their fellow workers’ jobs. Y’know, the team is a really beautiful human experience if it’s done right.
“I think everybody’s becoming a little bit more conscious in the way they do business. I think customers demand it. They vote with their pocket book… We’re not just being nice. It’s successful profit strategy as well.”
It’s obvious that this philosophy works. Why are so many business owners and leaders behind the learning curve? Why do so many businesses constrain their own potential for growth and success by undervaluing employees? Why do employers prefer a churn-and-burn strategy of costly employee turnover and reduced customer satisfaction over investment in long-term growth and profit?
Seriously, can anyone answer this question for me?