Mitchells – The Hug Policy

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Jack and Bill Mitchell, owners of this $60 million clothing retailer, have developed a corporate culture based on very close and special connections with their employees and customers.

In fact, Jack Mitchell has written two successful books on the subject called Hug Your People and Hug Your Customers. In his books, Mitchell describes how recognizing and encouraging his employees achieves two main goals: growing the business and keeping it humane.

Hugs. Mitchell’s hugs are about personal contact but also about recognizing a job well done. He doesn’t necessarily mean a physical hug, although he gives plenty of those. A hug can be a simple “thank you” or as grandiose as a trip to the World Cup, which he did one year for his head tailor.

Independence. Employees are encouraged to make decisions on their own. For example, they’re free to send a customer a good bottle of wine for their birthday or a card to the hospital if they are sick. They can even leave the store to give a customer a ride back to the train station.

More about the Mitchells store

What did Women’s Wear Daily have to say about 50 years of Mitchells?

More about Jack’s books

Next: Juilliard – Excellence, Respect, Flexibility and Commitment