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Henley Leadership Group Blog

5 Principles Of One Of The Best Places To Work

JARDINE-Kacie & Sam Malouf_Nov2019_USU-2 600x300

Previously published on Forbes

Many of us are done reading the “doom scroll.”  Want some good news?   As a researcher of what leaders are doing right – especially those who are creating super healthy cultures – I felt lucky to have found Sam and Kacie Malouf. Glassdoor ranked their company, Malouf, number 8 on their Best Places to Work list in 2019.  In fact, they are a seven-time nationally ranked Best Place to Work, receiving accolades from Glassdoor, Inc, InHerSight, and Comparably!

What are they doing to earn this? In my interviews with key leaders, I found five things to point to what they are doing really, really right:

1.      Take Care of People

Let’s start with “The Magic of Malouf.”  The leaders of Malouf work hard on a creating a culture of caring – offering all kinds of great perks to their team, with the idea of increasing physical fitness, nutritional wellbeing, mental health, and of course, good sleep.  They feel that when their employees are happy, they do their best work and their customers receive friendly and effective service.  This kind of makes sense, doesn’t it?  They have on-site culinary team that makes lunch every day for the team. They have a gym for employees and even a hair salon on-site.  Clearly, happy employees are a priority. 

2.     Live the Values

At the heart of their business are eight values that guide them: own it, act with integrity, work to win, be kind, be better every day, do more with less, make it fun, and think big picture. These values aren’t just words on a plaque in the boardroom. They are lived out every day in a thousand ways at Malouf. As part of their value “own it,” they have never had departmental budgets. Sam and Kacie challenge the leadership team to run the business like it’s their own – if an expense is justified, go for it. 

3.     Show You Care 

Sam Malouf, the CEO and founder of Malouf, knows every one of his 500 team members, personally.  He’s driven by helping people and wants to connect to people and their lives.  He sends texts to team members and offers individual care about people, not just their work product.  

I talked to Sam and asked him what he does at Malouf.  He responded, “I help people see forward.”  He helps them see the bigger picture; to see and think bigger than the present-day challenges. And isn’t this what leadership is about?  He also sees his role as caring about people and challenging them to be creative, strategic and confident.  Sam believes that everyone can make a difference and he counts on individual accountability towards this end.  He wants his team to be proactive in creating change at Malouf.  Sam is described as thoughtful, humble and grateful.  He’s an optimist and keeps things upbeat.  He hires good people, asks them, “What do you want to do?” and then lets them design their own jobs.  He is a beloved leader.  

4.     Be a Force for Good

They are part of a movement to end child sex trafficking.  Kacie worked with departments throughout the organization to create the Malouf Foundation and everyone at Malouf cares deeply about its impact.  With her team, they have created “On Watch” – training to identify signs of human trafficking.  Together with eight charities, they partner together in relieving the suffering of those caught in these difficult circumstances.  The Malouf team feels excited to be part of a movement that gives back in such a big way.

5.     Focus on a Triple Bottom Line

They’ve recently earned the distinction of becoming a Certified B Corporation®. B Corporations are for-profit companies, that achieve an 80/200 score on B Lab’s assessment, which has four parts — Governance, Workers, Community, and Environment. The company must show how it practices transparent business, looks after its employees, helps make its community a better place, and actively tries to preserve the environment.  Bottom line – Malouf works on a triple bottom line: planet, people, and profits.

A mid-sized company of 500 employees based in Logan, Utah, they offer a sleep-products including mattresses, adjustable bed bases, furniture, pillows, sheets, mattress protectors, bed frames and mattress toppers.  They sell to 15,000 stores in 26 countries.  Their main goal is to help people sleep better.  And with everything we are learning about the importance of sleep, this is a lovely contribution. They have the privilege of contributing really meaningfully to people’s lives.  Sleep impacts every aspect of life.  

Malouf is doing so much good.  Choose any one of the five tips they offer to us and implement it in your company.  You just may help your company become a great place to work.