As workers in 27 LUSH cosmetics shops across the nation demonstrated this week, when employees are passionate and engaged in their companies’ cause programs, they can help make a strong statement. In the case of LUSH employees, they took a stand on the issue of product overpackaging by shedding their own “packaging” Wednesday afternoon and working in the nude—except for their aprons, of course.
Although LUSH took employee engagement to the extreme to make a statement and draw attention to its cause, it is important to realize that its naked protest was part of the mission of the greater organization. LUSH cosmetics specializes in soaps and other body products that are often produced as solids, therefore requiring little or no packaging. The organization itself aims to protect the environment by leading the industry in its efforts to eliminate packaging, and employees were able to take this cause public and educate customers about the environmental impacts of packaged goods.
As our 2007 Cause Evolution research indicates, today’s employees want to work for organizations that are socially responsible and feel a stronger loyalty to their company when they are engaged with their cause programs. In fact, 93 percent of Americans believe it is important for their companies to provide employees with opportunities to become involved in the causes they support. The LUSH employees were able to “become the cause” and make a powerful statement to the public, strengthening the organizations underlying brand values, while also promoting the shops’ “naked,” or unpackaged, products.
Companies, as we take a day to celebrate “the working citizen” this week, take a moment to thank your employees for supporting your brand visions, and brainstorm how they can become more involved with the causes your organization supports, but you may want to encourage clothing!