How do you become a Top Workplace, a company that is organizationally healthy and repeatedly recognized as one of the best places in America to work?
Ask Kip Tindell, CEO of The Container Store, ranked No. 1 in WorkplaceDynamics’ list of America’s Top Workplaces. I had a chance to do just that, and here are highlights from that interview. In his own words, Tindell discusses the importance of direction, execution and connection, the three pillars of the WorkplaceDynamics concept of Organizational Health.
On becoming a Top Workplace:
“I think it starts with a realization that if you’re lucky enough to be someone’s employer, you have a moral obligation to make sure those employees want to get out of bed and come to work every day. We spend more time working in America than any other endeavor. I love the idea of having employees who love to come to work every day.”
On providing direction:
“At The Container Store, we believe that leadership and communication are the same thing. If you believe that, you run around trying to communicate everything to every employee. We give all our employees all of our advertising and marketing plans. Most retailers behave like they’re paranoid and afraid of everything. But nothing makes you feel more like you’re part of something than when everything is communicated to you. And nothing makes you feel more excluded than to know some stuff isn’t being shared with you.”
On establishing a culture of high execution:
“If you started a golf team, wouldn’t you be honored if we had Phil Mickelson on it? An achievement-oriented culture is more fun.”
On the importance of creating employee connection to the company:
“You want to be part of something that is right and wonderful and growing. The whole concept of a team is one of the best parts of life … particularly when you can really be yourself on that team. We allow each employee to achieve the means to the end, but we have agreed on the end. They unleash their creative genius to solve a problem as they see fit. You get much higher productivity. And you hear, ‘I just love it here. They allow me to be me.’ It’s a wonderful thing.”
On hiring the best:
“One of our principles is one equals three. One great person can easily do the business productivity of three people. So that allows you to pay 50 to 100 percent above the industry average. It seems scary, but not if you’re getting productivity that’s three times higher. We have great people waiting on our customers.”
Click back in a few days to the WorkplaceDynamics site to hear more from Tindell and about the company he and his colleagues have created—and are continuing to create. You also can read more in this New York Times Corner Office profile of Tindell by columnist Adam Bryant http://nyti.ms/QjKnwt.