Empower Empathy

Lesson 3: Topic 3 of 8

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Yes, your business exists to make money (even if it’s a not-for-profit enterprise). But to truly inspire workers, they need to know they’re working for more than just making your establishment more successful than the competition. If you want some more ideas, try these:

  • Empower employees to make crucial decisions without first having to get higher-tier approval. 
  • Offer time off that doesn’t reduce PTO/vacation to allow employees to volunteer at a charity (Note: it would be prudent to create a vetted list of charitable organizations which ‘qualify’ ― and you may wish to keep that list apolitical.)
  • As an organization, make an effort at helping the community at large by employing marginalized persons, such as:
    • Utilize your State’s TANF/AFDC program and hire the chronically unemployed.
    • Work with non-profits which seek to find jobs for ex-felons (e.g., Prison Fellowship), as this demographic historically has difficulty finding work. 
    • Partner with non-profits which have jobs programs for recently arrived refugees (World Relief or Catholic Charities).

Perhaps the above examples can inspire you to take other actions, too. A word of warning, though: Be careful not to stray too far away from your business’ core purpose. If you pick a ‘hot button’ issue, activism as an expression of corporate culture can create serious backlash, damaging your relationship with the greater community, hurting your recruiting, and driving away customers. Pick your causes very, very carefully. The culture is to enhance the mission, not become the mission.