Lululemon founder Chip Wilson credits self-help movement Landmark Forum for his business success. It turns out the company actually shells out $US500 for individual workers to go to retreats hosted by Landmark, which has been compared to Scientology, reports Chavie Lieber at Racked.
Lieber spoke to employees who claimed they were pressured into attending the seminar after they had been working at Lululemon for nine months.
“When my manager brought up Landmark at a meeting, she said that it was a gift that Lululemon gave to its employees. We did not have to accept the gift, but if we didn’t, we had to reevaluate our goals and how we align with the company,” the worker said. “If you decided not to go, they would find a way to phase you out.”
Employees also told Lieber that Landmark’s philosophies, which include sharing personal experiences and goals with co-workers, made the professional environment uncomfortable.
Workers also said Landmark discourages workers from ever having bad days.
But other employees told Lieber that the seminar inspired them to work harder and helped them bond with coworkers.
Lululemon would not comment on its relationship with Landmark, according to Racked. We reached out to the company for comment and will update this post if we hear back.
Wilson’s reputation has taken a hit this year.
He stepped down as chairman of Lululemon following outrage about his comments that some women’s bodies weren’t suited for his yoga pants.
The company has also been criticised for quality-control issues and for not offering larger sizes for women.
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