We all know the story…once upon a time in a decade far, far away (like the 50s) companies cared about their employees and lifetime employment was the norm.  Turnover was rare and employees expressed strong company loyalty–that’s sort of the cultural narrative anyway.

Then, a whole rash of things happened (globalization, deregulation, etc.) and the bond between company/employee was broken. Star employees became free-agents, able to find better deals with the click of a mouse on Monster.com, while companies happily dropped pink slips to boost the bottom line.  Middle class wages remained stagnant for decades and families fell under a mountain of consumer debt to keep from sliding into middle class exile.

As we hit the noughties and the great recession, forward looking businesses started to rethink their relationship to the employee.  By treating employees well and taking care of them (training, fair compensation, etc)  a few smart companies realized that employees delivered great customer experiences, resulting in loyal customers and a solid bottom line.

Below is a nice slide depicting this virtuous cycle via Bruce Temkin at The Temkin Group and author of the excellent blog Customer Experience Matters.

The Container Store’s HUMAN Magic:

The Container Store is an enlightened company that has been laser focused on its own employees and their training/well-being.  The Container Store recently even launched an interesting campaign called “We Love our Employees Day.”

On Feb 14th, employees were treated to special celebrations and gifts and customers were encouraged to share “love notes”  in store mentioning their favorite employees by name, etc.  I had a quick look on the blog and it seems that several Container Store customers also expressed their thanks and appreciation for individual service providers (by name) on the excellent What we Stand For blog.  The Container Store is best in class when it comes to establishing old-fashioned, corner store like, human to human relationships in a “big box” environment.  We need more of this…

Who Will Be Next??

What mid/large size company will be next to launch this type of inside/out national campaign?  It would be great to see a few more try!  Congrats to The Container Store team for pulling this off and hopefully the “We Love Our Employees Day” will become an ownable long term annual event that employees and customers can look forward to yearly.