COSTCO: Doing the Right Thing

If you pay much attention to COSTCO, the Washington-based competitor to Walmart's membership-based warehouse store, Sam's Club, you know the chain is one of the better companies in the country in terms of how it treats its workers and customers. When asked why COSTCO is so successful and profitable, CEO James Sinegal said, "We pay workers $45k/year, provide health insurance and let them unionize—the opposite of what Walmart does."

But it isn't just in those broad numbers and policies where COSTCO does the right thing—it's in the personal touches as well. Upworthy brings us a letter sent to COSTCO from Chris Horst:

When a Costco opened up in our neighborhood (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) in the late 90s, its reputation for treating its employees with dignity preceded it. Matthew applied immediately in hopes of joining the Costco team. A few short months later, Costco took a chance on him. Today, 11 years later, after several promotions, consistent pay increases and with a supportive team around him, Matthew has found his career. The very generous salary and benefits package allow him to enjoy life in a debt-free home in a great neighborhood, within walking distance of Costco.

For his entire life, Matthew has been classified and known by his “special needs.” Since the day he began at Costco, however, his co-workers and customers have valued him because of his unique strengths. There are many companies which “succeed” at the expense of their workers. I am a firsthand witness to a counter-intuitive company: Costco succeeds through the flourishing of its employees.

Read the full letter.