Value Your Employees

Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath in the New York Times:

A truly human-centered organization puts its people first — even above customers — because it recognizes that they are the key to creating long-term value. Costco, for example, pays its average worker $20.89 an hour, Businessweek reported last year, about 65 percent more than Walmart, which owns its biggest competitor, Sam’s Club. Over time, Costco’s huge investment in employees — including offering benefits to part-time workers — has proved to be a distinct advantage.

Costco’s employees generate nearly twice the sales of Sam’s Club employees. Costco has about 5 percent turnover among employees who stay at least a year, and the overall rate is far lower than that of Walmart. In turn, the reduced costs of recruiting and training new employees saves Costco several hundred million dollars a year. Between 2003 and 2013, Costco’s stock rose more than 200 percent, compared with about 50 percent for Walmart’s.

Treating your people well is good business.

Loving the right thing in what you do

Seth Godin, earlier Today:

You shouldn’t become a middle school math teacher because you love math. You should do it because you love teaching.

The same applies to many other fields as well, of course. One situation that always saddens me is the programmer-turned-manager who hates being in management. I can only imagine this happens because the only way to a raise was accepting a role with more responsibilities. Perhaps it would be better if we simply rewarded people who love programming for becoming better, more experienced programmers?