The ‘Trader Joe’s’ of law firms


An article in Forbes is about what makes the ‘Trader Joe’s’ grocery chain so successful. It talks about how they provide good value, keep things simple, and give customers an enjoyable experience.

As a regular shopper myself, I have to agree.

But one point in the article, in particular, caught my eye. The way they value and support their employees.

TJ’s, as all the cool kids call it, understands that it is their employees that make everything work. Their employees are well-paid, respected, and empowered to provide customers with outstanding service.

Happy employees make happy customers.

And they do a good job of it. When I ask for something I can’t find, they don’t just tell me which aisle it’s on, they walk me to the item. They always smile and laugh at my jokes in the checkout line.

The people who work at TJ’s are friendly and happy and have a personality.

So, when I read this article, naturally I thought about you and your employees.

Okay, I thought about me and my (former) employees. Did I treat my staff as well as TJ’s treats theirs?

I think most of my employees liked working for me (most of the time). I paid them reasonably well, I didn’t micromanage them or chastise them when they messed up, and since the clients seemed to like them, I think I did okay.

Not up to TJ’s standards, I’m sure. But then TJ’s came in at number 23 on Glassdoor’s list of best places to work.

Truth be told, we could “get away” with a lot more back then. Many people were glad to have a job, even if it meant putting up with a boss who didn’t treat them well.

Today? Not so much.

Okay, over to you. How do you do with your employees?

Do you pay them well? Value their work and their contributions to your success?

Do you empower them to provide extraordinary service to your clients?

Do you go out of your way to keep them happy?

It used to be that the client was always right. If a client didn’t get along with one of your employees, for example, you usually took the side of the client.

Today, not so fast.

Employers have come to realize that the client isn’t always right and when they’re wrong, we need to stand up for our employees.

I’m pretty sure that’s how TJ’s does it.

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