Practices like the Happy Helping Hour link directly to TOMS’ mission and are therefore a unique fit. The employees care about TOMS’ social mission and like to contribute. Their motivation is immeasurably enhanced by joining a ‘giving tour’, in which they actually travel to one of the developing countries and distribute the shoes, glasses and other goods themselves. This makes them brand ambassadors for life!
A life-changing experience
A brand with quite a different mission but a similar approach is the organic supermarket Whole Foods Market. Their mission is to sell only food without artificial flavourings, colorants, preservatives or sweeteners. Customers can count on their high standards, but interested employees can check whether these standards are actually being met at the places where the store’s produce are sourced. They can travel to these countries for two or three weeks through the in-house volunteer programme.
[quote] the programme has truly elevated my dedication and loyalty to an entirely new level
The Whole Planet Foundation (WPF) funds microlending programmes in 73 countries and 16 US cities. It is a non-profit organisation funded by Whole Foods Market and donations by its customers. Reflecting the company’s high standards, WPF guarantees that 100 % of customers’ donations are used to fund microcredits and that Whole Foods Market will cover the foundation’s operating costs. Through the volunteer programme, employees get the unique opportunity to travel abroad to learn about the WPF programme, to see where and how products are grown, and to meet the people who receive the microcredits and hear their stories. And as if this isn’t life-changing enough, they also perform community service. For example, they may help the local community by painting and upgrading a children’s home, drilling a well, etc. Reading how WFM employees describe the impact of their trip shows how it has transformed them: “I've loved working for Whole Foods Market for the past four years, but the programme has truly elevated my dedication and loyalty to an entirely new level. Thank you so much for this incredible opportunity.” (Jen, team member, India 2015 trip).
Cultivate a happy workplace
It may look like every brand needs a big social mission to make its employees feel happy - and we must admit it certainly makes it easier to touch their hearts - but bear in mind that people are becoming more mindful in every way. This means that your programme does not always need to focus on big ideas that will change the face of mankind or the world. It can just as easily focus on finding a balance in our personal lives. So start by looking for stress relievers at the workplace, come up with long-term practices, and see the smiles grow on your employees’ faces. And smiles will make the workplace a happy one.
Do you want to know more about this trend? Then you should contact Erica Twigt, email@example.com or +31 (0)252 750275.