Blog Post

Do You Fan the Flames of Trust? What Actions Can You Take to Show Employees How Important they Are?

The Container Store grows because they trust their people. Trusted employees feel and act like partners.

At the Container Store, every single one of over 3,000 employees know the company’s detailed financials, among other key information about their operation. This connects everyone’s work to their higher purpose – elevating what might have appeared as tasks (such as frontline service) to connect to deliver a differentiated experience and grow the business.

What do you do to fan the flames of trust with your team?

Open Communication Breeds Employee Passion and Partnership.
The Container Store’s hiring philosophy is “One great person equals three good people.” So once the company brings someone on board, that person is considered a partner. This partnership commitment with employees equals absolute trust. “The way to retain employees, to make them care, is to communicate to them,” says Chairman and CEO Kip Tindell.

“The Container Store’s goal is to be able to provide all employees with as much information as the executives have,” according to Tidell. To live up to this promise, two or three times a year the company’s full profit-and-loss status and all other financial topics are shared in a 30-page briefing given to each and every employee.

Knowing the companywide impact of everyone’s efforts on business performance and how the overall business is doing bring an understanding of how each individual impacts the company’s growth and marketplace position. Distribution folks know their support to the stores means getting products delivered on time and in good condition. Store folks deliver the customer experience. People at the home office create and source the innovative  products which pull customers into the stores.

They all connect to fuel the growth of the company. Knowing the details of financial investments in each area and the overall business results connects the dots between each position and each contributor.

Trusted Employees Want to Stay and Grow the Company.
By committing to creating an environment of trust and nurturing in their employees, The Container Store has successfully built a retail experience that compels customers to come back for more. Their stable workforce, with less than 10 percent turnover rate, has contributed to the double-digit growth achieved by The Container Store every year since it began in 1978.

Achieving $523 million in revenue in 2009, energetic and passionate employees stand behind the store they love. Can you sustain the excitement of your company for customers in this manner, by deciding to honor the intelligence of your employees?

Things to consider:

  • What actions can you take, or policies can you remove to show employees you believe in them?
  • How can you decide to honor the intelligence of employees?
  • Can you “skinny down” your rule book?
  • How would you rate you intent and ability to show your employees you believe in them?
  • How would your employees say you are doing?
  • Do employees rave about your trust in them today?
  • How does your decision to fan the flames of trust compare with this beloved company?
  • Do your decisions for creating an environment of trust earn you “beloved” status today?
  • What do you need to do differently to move toward earning the rave of customers and employees?
  • Can you identify one “stupid rule” and unleash power by removing it?
  • Beloved companies throw away the rule book. What actions can you take, or policies can you remove, to show employees you believe in them?
  • Do You Fan the Flames of Trust?


About the author

John Englund

John is a copywriter at Intradiem. He has a background in print and broadcast journalism and digital marketing with emphasis on technology.

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