Why The Container Store Enjoys 10X Higher Employee Retention

2 min read
Dec 28, 2014

The Container Store logo“You can make decisions based on love and succeed,” says the CEO of The Container Store. In the business world, that just sounds like wishful thinking. But, The Container Store proves it works. They put their workers first by investing in them, and it’s paying off. With 10% annual turnover in an industry that averages 100%, they’ve found the magic to employee retention.

Compensation Beyond The Workplace

Would you be willing to pay your retail associates $50,000 per year? The Container Store is. They’re aware that devoting 10% of store sales to payroll reduces profit, but they do it so their employees can live comfortably. Care is the bond that ties employees to The Container Store—a sense of loyalty results from companies treating employees as equals.

They pay their employees well. So what? A study by TalentWise revealed that the cost employee of turnover is estimated at 150% of the annual salary associated with that position. Even though it seems like The Container Store is overpaying their employees, they’re actually saving money through employee retention.

Training Beyond The First Day

Average U.S. employees receive 31 hours of training per year. At The Container Store, workers go through more than 263 hours during their first year alone. At first glance, it sounds excessive. But, there’s a method to this madness. Employees are trained on the ins and outs of every single product, tools for sales processes, and the company’s philosophies.

Through extensive training, employees become subject-matter experts on all things boxes, shelves, and racks. They’re able to provide outstanding service by finding the perfect solution for any customer.

How does this tie back to retention? When employees are equipped with the right tools to be successful at their job, they gain fulfillment that drives their motivation to show up at work day after day.

Values Beyond Lip Service

The Container Store’s culture is shaped by seven Foundation Principles. Based off of spiritual philosophies, these values help guide any decisions made in the organization. One of their philosophies is, “one great employee is equal to three good employees.” Meaning, one super-motivated employee outbeats productivity of three unengaged employees. That’s why The Container Store only hires great people.

97% of employees agree with the survey statement, “People care about each other here.” With a culture aligned on its core values, The Container Store has also created a family-like community where employees take care of one another.

We’re not saying that companies have to pay their employees an absurd salary. Show them you care, like The Container Store. Invest in your employees’ happiness, and they’ll keep showing up to work with a smile on their face.



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