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It Pays to Pay Your Employees Well, with CEO Kip Tindell
Kip Tindell, CEO of the Container Store, explains that his employees are the company's most valuable asset and that it's important to pay them what their worth to foster a positive workplace culture.
What would you identify as your company's most valued asset? The usual answers to that question would include product, brand, physical space, R&D, etc. Not often would you hear (at least not with sincerity) that a particular business considers its people to be its most valuable pieces.
The Container Store is different. Not only does the retail company believes the hype, it acts in accordance. CEO Kip Tindell, author of the fittingly-titled new book Uncontainable, recently visited Big Think to discuss how investing in employees helped make The Container Store such a success:
Tindell explains that The Container Store is founded on seven guiding principles. One of those principles is is that one great person can be at least as productive as three good people. This belief has the company hold out for only the best possible hires to join its team. Prospective employees go through an arduous eight-part interview process that focuses on identifying the most productive and innovative workers possible. When found, those people get paid.
"People join The Container Store and they never leave. I mean our turnover is single digit in an industry that averages triple digit, and pay is part of that... The average full-time sales person in the store makes about $48,000, which is not an enormous amount of money but it's a lot of money, it's a whole lot of money for a retail sales position..."
The company operates as an inverted pyramid. Tindell, as CEO, makes "substantially less than industry average." Meanwhile, employees who interact most with customers make "well above industry average," as much as 50-100% higher depending on the region. And unlike many companies, The Container Store doesn't consider the low heads on its totem pole to be easily replaceable. In fact, maintaining consistency in its workforce offers the company a valuable line of continuity that benefits all invested parties.
"You're getting three times the productivity at only 50 to 100 percent higher labor costs. So the employee wins because she's getting paid 50 percent more than somebody else would likely pay her, the company wins because It's getting three times the productivity at that only 50 percent higher cost, and the customer wins because they're getting this engaged really great employee."
In an era when income inequality and stagnant wages have become become major national issues, it's a breath of fresh air to see a company pay many of its low-level workers so well. Fortune Magazine agrees, as The Container Store has been named one of its "100 Best Companies to Work For" a whopping 15 years in a row. Four of those years saw the company ranked in the Top 2, a fact of which Tindell is quite proud:
"When you go in the stores the people that wait on you have been there four years or eight years or 12 years, they love their jobs and they're truly interested in your storage and organization problem. So, we're not advocates of paying mediocre people well, we enjoy excellence, we insist on a meritocracy and we really believe in paying great people well; we give much bigger than usual annual increases. I'll look forward to the day when we have people on the sales floor making $100,000 a year."
The Container Store's employees are well-qualified, well-trained, and well-compensated. This results in both elevated productivity and a collective sense of pride. Tindell explains that the company's stern meritocracy communicates to employees that windows of opportunity and advancement are always open. It's these feelings of pride and hope, as well as a desire to work hard and find solutions, that are but the surface results of the company's firm investment in the quality of its workforce.
The question then rises: are you valuing your best workers as you should?
For more on The Container Store's guiding principles and Kip Tindell's management philosophy, check out his recent publication Uncontainable.
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?
- From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
- "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
- Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.
A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.
- The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
- The study aims to explore whether the disease causes cognitive impairment and other conditions.
- Recent research suggests that COVID-19 can, directly or indirectly, cause brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage and other neurological problems.
Brain images of a patient with acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis.
COVID-19 and the brain<p>A growing body of research reveals alarming neurological complications among COVID-19 patients. On Wednesday, for example, researchers from University College London published a <a href="https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/doi/10.1093/brain/awaa240/5868408" target="_blank">study</a> in the journal Brain that describes how some patients have suffered temporary brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage, and other neurological problems concurrent with COVID-19.</p><p>Some patients suffered brain inflammation as a result of a rare disease called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which can cause numbness, seizures, and confusion. One patient in the study even hallucinated monkeys and lions in her home.</p>
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images<p>A separate study published in the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7198407/" target="_blank">Journal of Clinical Neuroscience</a> notes that some COVID-19 patients have also suffered neurological complications like impaired consciousness and acute cerebrovascular disease. The study notes that past viruses like MERS and SARS also seemed to cause neurological problems.</p><p>A troubling finding among this growing body of research is that some patients seem to suffer neurological damage even when respiratory symptoms aren't obvious. Additionally, scientists aren't sure whether damage from the disease will be permanent.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Given that the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause," Dr. Ross Paterson, joint first author of the University College London study, said in a <a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/ucl-iid070620.php" target="_blank">press release</a>. "Doctors needs to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes."</p><p>If you've been diagnosed with COVID-19 and want to enroll in the study, visit <a href="https://www.cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study" target="_blank">cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study</a>.</p>
Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.