Have you ever received help from a stranger who wanted nothing in return? Have you ever helped another without wanting anything in return? If you have experienced both, how did you feel in the different scenarios? Did you ever feel as though there was more to that moment than just the act of kindness you received or gave to others? Did you in that moment feel or wish you could do more? Or even hope that as you have done for these ones, they too would be kind enough to do good for others without wanting anything in return?
All these are varied angles of an ancient habit, called PAY IT FORWARD. One good or kind act you do can go a long way to cause ripple effects in the society. Imagine this been done on a business level.
While it has been shown to improve lives on personal levels, businesses are fast gaining from this Pay It Forward strategy as well. No matter what business industry you are involved in, imbibe a culture of giving back to the 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.
Legendary investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Warren Buffett along with Bill and Melinda Gates, founded The Giving Pledge, which encourages billionaires to give more than half their wealth to charitable organizations and as much as they give, they get back. Your business stands to benefit so much by inculcating this habit:
- You gain great positive publicity, possible rebranding and imaging for your business
- You get to attract more customers to your business especially those who key into the purpose of your business
- You stand to interest more investors, possibly partnership from well-established business moguls in your niche
- It is a good means of advertisement
- It enhances your teamwork, communication and loyalty among your employees while uplifting their morale
- You get to see more of your staff strength and hidden talents among your employees.
The Pay it forward business strategy has worked for so many businesses. Yours can be one of them.