Week 12: Use work to empower a community.
For the last week on ways to improve the office, I thought I would take this time to examine some things that Brown Paper Tickets does to make a difference in their communities and hopefully other companies will take a piece or two of what they do and create new ways to make your office more giving.
An relatively easy way to make an impact on your community is to make a financial donations to local schools or non-profits that are set-out to make a difference. Brown Paper Tickets takes 5% of their quarterly profits and donates that amount to a non-profit. They have also been a part of setting-up micro-loans with Kiva and helping to support people across the world. Look at your profits and give what you can every quarter or every year. Whether it is $10 or $100, the donation will make a difference.
Another great way to make an impact in your community is to give time. Brown Paper Tickets empowers every employee with 40 hours of time-on. This means that each employee could help build houses for a whole week in Africa and get paid as if they were sitting at their desks, working in the office. Employees are also able to break-up their time-on and give one or two hours to their favorite non-profit every week. It is a great way to get people more involved in their communities. This is something easily applied to every company. 40 hours is a lot of time to give as an employer, but even giving 20 hours or even a full working day of 8 hours would make a big difference. It is also a great team building experience when a whole group of staff works on a volunteering project together. Giving employees time to go volunteer takes away the common excuse of not having time to volunteer. Give them time and see what they can do!
In my opinion, one of the most amazing programs Brown Paper Tickets has is their Doer program. Doers, unlike a sales team, are not responsible for business development. Their sole purpose it to go out and help people in their industry, free of charge. They are change makers. Some call it a dream job and I would agree. They are Brown Paper Tickets employees, paid to go out and make a positive difference in our world. How amazing is that?! Now, this one may be a little more challenging to take and apply to your own business, but maybe start by scaling it down and allow some of your employees to take on projects that will make a difference in your community and give them four hours a week to work on that project. There are many variations of a program like this that you could make work for your company.
The more you are able to support your employees desire to create positive change, the better world we will have to all share. Go on. Change the world!