I love reading about companies and leaders that have figured out that if you treat everyone right, you'll actually end up ahead. Turns out there's a whole movement that believes in this called Conscious Capitalism, which I learned about from Kip Tindell's book Uncontainable: How Passion, Commitment, and Conscious Capitalism Built a Business Where Everyone Thrives.
For organization junkies like me, my favorite place to browse outside of a bookstore is either the Staples organization aisle or just anywhere in The Container Store. I tend not to go in there often since there are too many tempting things, but I knew it was a special place from my few visits (and based on what they sell of course). Reading Kip Tindell's story about how he, his wife, and his co-founder started the chain and embedded it with their unique culture was just inspiring.
The Container Store works really hard to uphold their Seven Foundation Principles. These include hiring great people and paying them twice the going rate since they are worth three good people; training those people to really help customers solve problems; helping everyone in their supply chain succeed; and being transparent and open about all their communication. They believe, as do the others who are part of the Conscious Capitalism movement, that if you treat your employees, vendors, and customers right, you will actually be more profitable while doing the right thing.
Kip described how hard he and his entire management team worked not to lay people off during the recession. Instead they froze hiring, raises, 401K contributions and just saved money where they could. Since everyone knew of this struggle and the reason behind these measures—to protect their jobs—they got gratitude and increased loyalty instead of griping. Compare this to the leadership conference Kip attended where CEOs of large corporations were boasting and competing as to how many people were let go. Kip understandably walked out of that conference in disgust.
Since Kip and his team treat their employees with care and invest in their growth and development, these employees then shower that care on their customers and look forward to coming back to work. This is totally in line with what I recently read and wrote about and what other books on culture and employee engagement have demonstrated.
If it's good business sense and the right thing to do, why are there so few Conscious Capitalist companies? Are you lucky enough to work for one of them?
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