Play it Forward

A couple of months ago I was speaking at a company’s annual conference when I learned that one of their valued representatives, Shaun, accepted his position after reading a good news story on their company website.

The company was outdoor playground and fitness equipment manufacturer a-space. Their donation was a brand new, fully installed playground to a school in Tasmania which had been completely destroyed by a local bushfire.

With over 50,000 registered charities in Australia, being able to make a difference can be overwhelming. Yet, it is stories like this that make employees feel proud to work for a company.

Fellow employees shared how they helped bring the project to life. From taking the first call for help to actually flying to Tasmania to build the playground. The impact experienced by the employees was palpable.

Blake Mycoskie, Founder of Toms says “You can attract some amazing talent when you’re offering your employees to be part of something bigger”. While a-space attracted Shaun on many levels, he declared that he took the job because they donated a playground. He knew he was about to work for a company with good values.

For some businesses, giving back formulates part of their everyday business model, for others it is reactive to a community or individuals’ needs. The point is, it doesn’t have to be huge. We all have services and products we can offer.

Often work friends become lifelong friends, so knowing they are about to jump into a company that “gives and cares” is a wonderful way to open the door to a new beginning.

“Play it forward” is relevant for a-space and has many additional benefits other than for the cause itself. Other companies can use the renowned concept of “Pay it forward.”

By embracing the concept of giving and promoting your company’s products or services to help others, you will attract likeminded employees while giving your brand a positive boost.

A Small Act that will have a Major Impact in creating a “Pay it forward” culture is to add a new agenda item to your weekly meetings.

Imagine an agenda that read –

  1. Budget vs actual
  2. New sales targets
  3. Customer updates and
  4. Pay it forward” update

Observe the lift in energy when your employees talk about how they “Pay it forward” with your company and employees. And don’t forget to start sharing your good news stories outside the front door of your company, as you just don’t know who will walk in….