Nicoloas Lodiong has come a long way. Escaping from the conflict in Uganda 30 years ago, when he was only ten-years-old, he is now a master compounder at Lush Cosmetics’ North American headquarters in Vancouver, Canada British Columbia.
Starting at Lush washing and drying soap molds, Lodiong took the task of learning to heart and became proficient at making all of Lush’s products. This work ethic and loyalty has allowed him to rise to the company’s manufacturing division’s highest rank. All this, within ten years.
But, rising up the ranks is not the only reward Lodiong will see. Lush, a company that embraces employee recognition, loyalty, and wellness, initiated a charity project that donates 100 percent of the retail price of its Charity Pot lotions to 57 charities worldwide. And, Lodiong will be sent to visit his homeland of Uganda as a result of this project.
According to Inc.com, one of the charities Lush gives to is OA Projects. This project constructs soccer fields for children living in Uganda. And, Mark Wolverton, the North American CEO, is sending Lodiong as the company representative. With the next field being built only hours from Lodiong’s village, Wolverton jumped on the chance to send his valued employee.
"It'd be nice to say, 'Oh just go back and see your family,' but I don't know that he'd accept it that way," explained Wolverton. Allowing Lodiong to be a representative for the company puts a different spin on the trip, while at the same time allowing him to visit family.
Wolverton added, “We're constantly trying to take what we're doing publicly and internally and match it up to improve the experience for the staff."
Lush is currently in the creative process of “implementing a program, in which every employee will submit their three wishes. Lush will then try to make at least one of those wishes come true.” The UK headquarters has already initiated a test program.
"Everybody has a personal [dream]," notes Wolverton, "and it doesn't necessarily involve going back to Uganda...It's been really nice to be able to use the business to make a difference in people's lives, and I'll be happy to keep going."
Lush is a wonderful example of employer appreciation, they have sent a number of employees on other ‘represent the company’ trips. It is constantly striving to uphold “its philosophy of marrying a responsibility to the world with a responsibility to employees.”
This type of employer responsibility, topped with charitable acts and employee recognition is a great strategy to help foster employee loyalty and retention.