How to Build Limitless Employee Potential

Four executives at Tanger Outlets explain how a focus on diversity, integrity, trust, and teamwork can drive success for every employee and the organization as a whole

Tanger Outlets was dedicated to investing in a variety of talented employees long before “diversity” was a mainstream business objective. That commitment has grown since the company was founded thirty-five years ago, but regardless of age, race, gender, or sexual orientation, the most valued employee requirement remains a passion for making a difference.

“The key is considering others’ perspectives in all aspects of our life and work,” Virginia Summerell, treasurer and senior VP of finance, says. “The better we do, the better we engage the world.” This sentiment is also echoed by Carrie Geldner, senior VP, marketing and CMO, who not only considers the diversity of Tanger’s customers, but their retailers and shareholders as well. “Diverse and cross-cultural thinking is crucial because it’s who our customers and partners are,” says Geldner.

But employing a diverse chorus of voices is only as valuable as their ability to speak up, which is why Tanger is also committed to empowering employees. “Our culture encourages people to be creative, take initiative, and take ownership of their work,” Cyndi Holt, VP of finance and investor relations, adds. One way this is done is by inviting employees at every level to share ideas directly with the chief operating officer. Another is through team building activities, town hall addresses from the CEO, and public recognition of accomplishments. “The empowerment message starts at the top,”  Holt says, “which encourages people to share opinions and support one another.”

Protecting and uplifting individual voices is rooted in Tanger’s core belief in teamwork. “We support each other, develop strong partnerships, and deliver targeted results,” says Lisa Morrison, Senior VP of Leasing, who expressed a prevalent theme from across the company: everything at Tanger comes back to integrity, which builds trust, which enables teamwork, which ensures success of both individuals and the whole. Thanks to the company’s commitment to teamwork, diversity, empowerment, and integrity, there is no limit to an employee’s ability to succeed at Tanger Outlets, save their personal passion for making a difference.