A lot of companies have “team building” activities that involve projects, improv lessons, trust falls, guest speakers, and ice breakers. Urban Outfitters interprets team building exercises a little differently.
Reports circulated that the company sent a letter to salaried employees that basically asked them to come to a fulfillment center in Gap, Pennsylvania, and do what would normally be the job of other paid employees … for free. The letter reads as follows, via Gawker:
After successfully opening our new fulfillment center in June, we asked salaried employees at our home office to volunteer for shifts that would help support the new center through a busy month of October. Unsurprisingly, we received a tremendous response, including many of our senior management. Many hourly employees also offered to pitch in – an offer which we appreciated, but declined in order to ensure full compliance with all applicable labor laws and regulations. The dedication and commitment of URBN employees are second to none, and their response to this request is a testament to their solidarity and continued success.
Of course. Because instead of hiring seasonal staff or giving overtime to hourly workers, just have other people work for nothing other than lunch and a ride. It just seems like a better way to build this team would be to get the higher-ups some ethics, class, or common sense.