The Container Store's Recession-Proof Strategy

by Network for Good Specialist on ‎06-17-2013 3:00 AM, EDT

By Allison McGuire @Calimcg


This is a continuation of a blog post on how The Container Store unpacks employee engagement.


The Container Store offers sustainable, lasting products. We know this because we’ve perused their online CSR gallery and bought myriad Container Store products too.


Kate Olsen and I had the chance to chat with Audrey Robertson, VP of cultural programs, community relations, and social media, about the company’s digital and cultural impact programs.


While The Container Store does great community outreach and disaster relief work, what surprised us most in this interview was the company’s laser focus on its employees.


Here is part II explaining the ways the company prioritizes its workforce. All italicized text is that of Ms. Robertson’s.


Container Store employeesEmployees first. 



No HR needed. We have benefits, payroll, and loss prevention teams [but w]e don’t have an HR or an official internal communications department…There’s not a lot of hierarchy, but a lot of support and the entire company is focused on our Communication IS Leadership approach. 


Recession-proof strategy. During the recession, wouldn’t it have been easier to lay off our employees? How can you say you’re an employee first culture and the first think you do is layoffs?  We came to a different solution so that we could preserve jobs.


Conscious capitalists. We all know we’re doing more than selling a product.


When we talk about conscious capitalism, for me, it is knowing that we shouldn’t be ashamed of being a highly, highly profitable business to take care of our employees, vendors, to give back to the communities and customers.  It’s about going about your business in a conscious way to ensure everyone associated with your business has opportunity and thrives.  


In the book Firms of Endearment, Raj Sisodia looks at publicly traded companies versus privately owned (like us), and earnings are far, far higher for privately owned [companies] with a conscious capitalism bent.



Question for discussion: What does conscious capitalism mean to you? What does it mean to your company?




Download our eGuide on the 5 Social Impact Trends influencing Employee Engagement  for more guidance on how your company can leverage the power of its workforce.



Image courtesy of The Container Store


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Companies for Good shares insights on cause marketing and corporate social responsibility topics to inform your charitable engagement with consumers and employees. Network for Good empowers corporate partners to unleash generosity and advance good causes. The blog celebrates that work and provides expertise and resources to help you do well and do good. Learn more

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