There is a great trend of companies taking notice of things happening outside their four walls. Businesses are becoming Greener, gaining a social conscience, and truly caring about their employees. It comes in all different forms, from Warby Parker’s “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” program to start-up companies providing living wages and benefits to their employees. In a world that’s taking more notice of the group than the individual, the benefits of having programs like this can be a smart business move.
We’ve all heard the story of the CEO who decided to lower his salary so that all his employees could receive fair, living wages. As a result, there was a dramatic rise in productivity, morale, and new applicants. Employees naturally want to look out for themselves. If you show that you care about your employees, they’ll show the same in return. You scratch my back, I scratch yours. Putting in additional hours and going the extra mile becomes second nature. All of a sudden, individuals become a team. One person’s failure is everyone’s failure. One person’s success is the team’s accomplishment. It’s more problem solving than finger-pointing. In the end, loyalty is far better than mutiny (duh!).
Customer groups are generally difficult to change. The majority are self-absorbed and want to know, “Well, what’s in this for me?” They don’t often think about taking that extra step if they have to do additional work. Companies like Tom’s Shoes and Warby Parker have found a secret weapon. Customers like a good deal but they also like to feel good about themselves. Let’s be honest, Tom’s Shoes are only okay (in my humble opinion). They’re thin, you can’t wear them in the rain, and they wear down very quickly. But when they tell you that by purchasing a pair of shoes, you will be giving a pair of shoes to someone in need, suddenly the task isn’t so hard. You could very easily donate money to charities like that but it’s not the same. You got a pair of shoes and you feel better about yourself. Maybe it’s not the most honest way to give back, but you’re giving back, right?