Unleashing the full capacity of your people

The Container Store: An Exemplar of Employee Engagement?

Survey Participants

We love finding companies that clearly get the value of employee engagement, and center their human capital investments around unleashing greater potential than competitors do. This approach is truly a sustainable way to maintain that competitive advantage.
The most recent example we found comes from The Container Store, a company founded in Houston that has put its “foundational principals” prominently on its website for all to see. (It makes for pretty good marketing, too.)
Not only that, they declare their beliefs inside and outside the boxes in which you get your order. Here is an image of the packing tape with which they sealed my boxes:

Delivering on this public commitment is hard work, but as they say on their site:

“Retail is far, far too situational to attempt to achieve a concerted effort through inflexible rules and policies.

So, instead of using the typical phone-book-sized retail procedural manual to guide our decision making, we use these Foundation Principles™ to keep us on track, focused and fulfilled as employees. With this combination of values-driven business philosophies and a one-of-a-kind product selection, The Container Store’s goal is to become the best retail store in America.”

Love it! Embed the core principles throughout the organization (a hard task, but completely doable) and the need to control employee actions through strict protocol becomes less necessary. This virtuously frees up the time you need to embed the good habits you seek!!!

“Foundation Principles” are a great echo of our own “Foundation of Excellence” philosophy. Here, for the record, are the seven principles to which they hew, along with links on each page to short and sweet videos of actual employees explaining what each means:

1 Great Person = 3 Good People
Communication IS Leadership
Fill the other guy’s basket to the brim. Making money then becomes an easy proposition.
Intuition does not come to an unprepared mind. You need to train before it happens.
Man In The Desert Selling
Air of Excitement

I see a wonderful template for demonstrating commitment to employee engagement and empowerment here. What do you think?

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