By his own admission, Samer (rhymes with “hammer”) Khouli (rhymes with “holy”) is not the stereotypical CEO. And the company he runs has not delivered typical results.
Established in 2009, TargetCW taps into the growing “contingent workforce” sector. Its team of 118 human resources professionals offers payrolling, staffing, pre-screening, international services and other solutions for temporary workers and contractors.
The results have been impressive — 40 percent annual growth and an impressive 4.9 rating on the Glassdoor website.
Yet Khouli, who recently spoke to the San Diego Union-Tribune, insists the company’s success has less to do with the bottom line and everything to do with nurturing a positive workplace culture. This all reinforces why Samer is a recipient of the San Diego Union-Tribune Leadership Award 2018!
What are the leadership characteristics of this company?
We have three values at TargetCW. The first one is the idea of constant alignment. Are you an aligned person? Are you doing what you’re supposed to be doing? Are you aligned with your family? And are you aligned with our clients from a business perspective?
The other one is the idea of memorable service. That’s creating those “Aha!” moments that connect us. It seems like customer service but it’s deeper than that. It’s genuine caring. Last but not least is the idea of beautiful design which encourages people to dig down deep into the creative component of who they
are. How can you do your job better? How can you do it more effeciently? How can you create things that honor the beautiful imprint you have in your soul?
Those are big components. They’re kind of big and broad but they are super important to me. When you put them together, you have TargetCW, which has about 95 percent employee retention, 95 percent client retention, and 40 percent year-over- year growth. We’ve almost outgrown our 25,000 square-foot building. I don’t care about that stuff but that’s the result of caring about people.
What would you say to someone who would say, all that is nice but this is a business?
I would tell them, you’re talking to the wrong CEO. I want to have my soul in this business. And a huge part of that is caring about my people.
I can turn a profit – that’s easy. And we do that. But what’s important is if I can change people’s hearts. That’s ultimately my goal.
If you tell me it’s all about the bottom line, I’m going to say, no, it’s about the people. The bottom line will come if you have a good business model.
It almost sounds too good to be true.
If you talk to everybody here, they’d say the same thing. I have three C-Levels (top executives) that came from, like, Fortune 100 companies and at first they said, how in the world do you do this? I said, just trust me. Six months later, they’re saying, “This place is like Disneyland.”
I don’t want people to be stressed out. I like a normal, 40, 50-hour workweek and that’s it. I don’t like manipulation. I don’t like guilt. I don’t like political nonsense at work. Enjoy your life.
We’re definitely an odd duck of a company and I’m an odd CEO, but I love my life. I’m extremely blessed and happy to be doing what I do every single day.
Original article Written by Rob Nikolewski and can be found at www.sandiegouniontribune.com