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The Container Store - An 'Employee First' Culture to Drive Success

 The Container Store - An 'Employee First' Culture to Drive Success


Texas-based The Container Store Group Inc is a leading retailer of storage and organization products. It started its journey in 1978 with a 1,600 square foot retail space in Dallas. Today it has 69 store locations across the US that each average 25,000 square feet and offer more than 10,000 innovative products.


It calls itself “an employee-first, yummy company”. The 5,000-employee strong company believes that putting employees first and staying true to its seven Foundation Principles has enabled it to make it to FORTUNE magazine's 100 Best Companies To Work For® - 15 years in a row, with being No. 1 twice.




The hiring and payroll philosophy at The Container Store is driven by one of its foundation principles of 'one equals three', i.e. one great employee is equal to three good employees, in terms of business productivity. This explains why the company enjoys a 10% annual employee turnover, in an industry which suffers from steep turnover rates. The fact that it hires a mere 3% of the applications it receives reflects its policy of hiring the best. Even the most entry-level job applicants are required to go through up to 7 or 8 interviews, many taking place with a group of the company's employees.


The 'one equals three' philosophy also drives the generous remuneration practices for store employees. The company pays its employees well above the industry average, with its salespeople earning an average $ 48,000 a year. This is more than double the $ 23,690 average national salary of a retail sales worker in the US, as per the 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.



Focus on training & development

The company believes that it enjoys low employee turnover not only due to the high monetary rewards it offers its employees, but also through the continuous training and development opportunities it provides. For instance, full-time employees receive 263 hours of formal training in their first year in the company!


Recruitment with a twist

The Container Store has a distinctive approach to recruitment. Its own customers are the first place the company looks for, for talent. Also, employees carry recruiting cards to give to friends, family members, even extra-attentive restaurant waiters and others who seem like they would fit perfectly into the company's culture.


Putting employees first

The Container Store's dominance in the market can be attributed to its intense focus on building strong relationships with employees and, ultimately, with customers. The company's 'employee first' culture has resulted in an environment where not just the employees, but also the customers, vendors and the shareholders win.


To quote Kip Tindell, Chairman and CEO from an interview to Forbes “… 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.”



Publsihed with permission from Engage Sodexo Newsletter, Issue 3.