The Pay-it-Forward principle is an ancient habit that has to do with one good or kind act, going a long way to cause ripple effects in the society. Sometimes people help others not because they want something in return but out of the genuine goodness of their hearts and all they ask for is that the person(s) helped show the same kindness to others. This principle has inspired generosity and compassion in many people, causing them to not only care about themselves but others as well.

Imagine this been done on a business level.

While it has been shown to improve lives on personal levels, businesses are fast gaining from it as well. No matter what business industry you are involved in, imbibe a culture of giving back to society. Never build your business for yourself and family alone but it should most importantly have a societal impact. That way, you affect more lives than you thought you possibly could. This is a business strategy that most entrepreneurs do not value let alone utilize. The quickest thought that comes to mind when one talks about giving back to the society is through charity.

Charity is more than giving out cash or kind items to orphanages and the likes. Your business could get more involved with the community by giving in some other way like your time, talents etc. but in doing this, your giving must be aligned with your company’s core values. You could even practice this habit within your company for starters.

Examples of companies which have inculcated this Pay-it-forward habit, include Google which has “a peer-to-peer bonus system that empowers employees to express gratitude and reward helpful behaviour with token payments” a study revealed.

Southwest Airlines, have the “agent of the month” award, which appreciates staffs who have helped others do great work and by doing so, the airline uses the tool of gratitude to trigger other staffs to help each other. The airline says using gratitude as a tool inspires other employees to help each other.

Oil and gas company, ConocoPhillips, created an online knowledge platform where staffs ask questions and others provide answers. By tapping into the knowledge base of its employees, this company has been able to save $100 million, the study further revealed.

Everyone needs help and attention at times. It’s up to us to act when the opportunity presents itself.

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