Container Store’s Approach to Human Resource Management

The Fortune’s list of 100 best companies to work for is a source of prestige to companies that are nominated by their employees as the best companies to work for. The Container Store which is a Dallas-based retail store emerged number 32 in the recently released 2009 Fortune list. One department to reckon with at Container Store is the human resource management which earned the company a position in the Fortune 100 best companies to work for in America. But just what is Container Store’s approach to human resource management?

This paper seeks to answer this question and offers conclusions about the human resource management approach used by the company. Analysis Container Store makes use of a flexible human resource structure. Their rules on employees are simple and flexible and the concept of a rulebook or manual for employees is not their way of managing people (Laabs, 2001). The company is interested in people’s ability to be straight forward and eager to counter different situations with flexibility and creativity.

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Unlike in the traditional HR system, Container Store makes use of managers and supervisors to promote motivation and staff retention since they are more closer to the employees (Laabs, 2001). There is great interaction between employees and managers in order to create freedom of expression. Even the founders Kip and Garret still frequent the store to interact with employees and help them out (Container Store, 2009).
The company’s employee development philosophy focuses on employee’s talents and not titles letting employees make the best use of their abilities to benefit themselves and the company. Container Store puts great value on employees describing them as the greatest assets in the organization. Motivation and an enthusiastic environment are the factors that give its employees the desire to stay with the company for years (Container Store, 2009). Career development and training ensure well qualified staff for the company which is very keen on customer care.
For motivation, great benefits for their employees including exceptional training, job security and attractive pay package are provided. A 40% discount on the company’s merchandise, 401(k) retirement benefits, medical and dental plans for employees both full-time and part-time provide even more benefits for the employees (Container Store, 2009). From the above analysis, we can conclude that the human resource management at Container Store is employee oriented. It allows flexibility and is democratic in nature.
More so it values success and the management recognizes that the employees are key to achieving this. Container Store is also keen on its employee’s welfare and health. This kind of management style brings in positive outcomes in a company since the employees will often feel as contributors to the business growth. According to the vice president of operations, Beth Barret, flexibility gives employees a chance to participate in company decision making (Laabs, 2001).
This gives a sense of responsibility and is better off than using autocratic kind of management system. Allowing employees to be flexible rather than follow a certain set of laws is a motivating factor and plays a big role in defining productivity of employees. Container Store’s dedication to employee motivation is a good quality in the human resource management which is aimed at encouraging employee commitment to the company. Employee benefits are a good way of not only retaining employees but also motivation which promotes productivity. Conclusion
Flexibility and staff involvement in the business activities are emphasized as the key contributors of Container Store’s success. The qualities of the human resource management approach used by Container Store gives a justification for why the employees nominated it as the best company to work with. Word Count: 606 References Container Store (2009). Careers for Great People. Retrieved on April 27, 2009 from www. containerstore. com Laabs, J. K. (2001). Thinking Outside the Box at The Container Store – Human Resource Management Awards. Workforce, March Issue.

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