The Secret to Costco's Success
I loved my five-year stint with Costco! I worked hard and got paid very well. I bought my first home at just 22 when I was still in college. Costco even provided me with the opportunity to earn scholarships. The benefits were generous, my coworkers were nice, the year-end parties were fun, and hey...I even met my wife at Costco!
In my undergrad thesis entitled, "Countering Conventional Wisdom," I detailed Costco's struggle with investors on Wall Street who complained that the big box retailer pays its employees too much. It was through my research into Costco, and Jim Sinegal, that I truly came to appreciate the no-frills warehouse chain. Costco's business philosophy has impacted the way I work with people.
Costco rewards hard work. If you work really, really hard then Costco will pay you really, really well. Costco employees EARN their paychecks. The culture is all about hard work, if you don't pull your weight then you're gone - nothing personal. The only warehouses with unions are the ones that were acquired with Price Club back in the 1980's. Employees don't need unions because Costco treats it's employees fairly. I mean, they give employees a free turkey every year for Christmas!
Politics aside, it doesn't matter who the president is, Costco is great because of it's dedicated workforce and diligent leadership at the warehouse level and at the helm in Issaquah.
Because of the company that Jim built I was able to work my way out of poverty, buy a home, pay for advanced degrees, afford a family, and now give back to my community. Thanks for the opportunity Costco!
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Paul Hill, Ph.D.
I design, plan, and evaluate economic development programs for Utah State University.
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