The Container Store Group, Inc. recently announced the launch of its Employee First Fund, designed to provide grants to employees experiencing unforeseen emergencies.
The Container Store is contributing $100,000 to kick-off the Fund, which can cover a major medical situation, a catastrophic event, or other challenges in life. Fellow employees and other "stakeholders" will have an opportunity to make donations to the fund.
The campaign is part of the company's National We Love Our Employees Day, which the retailer created five years ago. Ads regarding the launch ran in The New York Times and The Dallas Morning News, and messaging appeared on e-mails to customers, select billboards and via Facebook advertising.
Container Store spokeswoman Casey Shilling told The Dallas Morning News that the fund is set up as a 501c3 non-profit organization with a board and an anonymous grant review committee. Employees applying for a grant would go through an extensive review process. The program was modeled after similar efforts by Southwest Airlines and Brooks Brothers.
"We're so thrilled to launch our Employee First Fund, which exists to support our company's commitment to an employee-first culture, ensuring all employees feel well taken care of, safe, secure and warm," said Kip Tindell, chairman and CEO of The Container Store, in a statement. "It's a culture that's driven by our seven Foundation Principles and results in an environment where the lives of everyone connected to our business are enriched and brimming with opportunity — where everyone can thrive — starting with our employees first!"
Beyond a video message from its top executives describing the program, each of The Container Store's 5,000 employees received a commemorative Employee First Fund shirt along with a letter from the Mr. Tindell and Melissa Reiff, president and COO.
How practical is it for most retail chains to set up emergency funds similar to The Container Store for their employees?