Better Business Practices: The Warehouse

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Growing up on Sonlight books, I experienced the things that initially inspired labor unions. The horrible working conditions created in the name of profitability make sense when I consider the human condition. This part of history helps mold my political ideals and inform my perspectives about business and government and people and capitalism and economies and labor and such. On the other side, growing up part of a profitable and fantastic company, I got to watch as my parents consistently worked to make Sonlight a place people would want to work.

Now an employee, I'd say they've done a good job. I've participated in a wide variety of positions at Sonlight. I've helped in Customer Service; I've worked in Product Development; I've spent summers in the Warehouse. I've had the privilege of seeing every side of this company. And we do things right.

We take seriously our responsibility to be good stewards of the things God has entrusted to us. That means creating good work environments, among other things.

The topic of taking care of employees came up over lunch yesterday after my dad read the article A day in the life of a warehouse wage slave in The Week. As one who has spent time as a Picker and a Packer, I appreciate the thick foam mats Sonlight places on the concrete. (Having been to a homeschool convention recently, I know what happens when you don't stand on padding!) The story of how horrible the shipping conditions are for other online retailers stood in stark contrast to how pleasant it is to work for a company that cares about its employees and customers by keeping "the bottom line" in healthy perspective. And what's more? By God's grace, we have kept our prices competitive--and often below--that of the competition... companies that rely on rather appalling practices.

Just this morning, I bumped into a young man who works at Sonlight over the summer when he's not in school. I met him last year. "Good to see you again," he said with a smile.

"Good to see you too," I said. And it was. Because people like working at Sonlight.

...and that makes it even easier to love working here too.

What do you think of the lemonade stand dilemma? Have you ever had an employer take really good care of you?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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  1. Pingback: A Peek Inside the Sonlight Warehouse | Sonlight Blog