(Time to read this blog article about 60 seconds)

How will your business give back to your community, to humanity and to the local and global environment in 2017?  It’s called ‘doing well by doing good’. What’s your plan?

Giving back is good business and great for employee engagement. Employees want to feel that they’re part of something that truly makes a difference…and that isn’t just about ‘selling stuff’.  All businesses sell stuff…great businesses are on a mission to make a difference in the world.  What mission are you on with regard to the products and / or services you sell, how you conduct your business, how you help your community and how it ‘feels’ to work for you?  What makes you extraordinary?

Dove brand skin and body care (Div. of Unilever) promotes ‘real beauty’ and fights negative stereotypes about women around the world. Online retailer, Zappos, encourages employees to take paid time off to volunteer and hosts numerous charitable events such as Operation Glass Slipper which provides prom dresses and shoes for girls who cannot afford them.

You don’t have to be a big company to make a difference. For example, an HVAC contractor could take on the project of keeping the heating and air conditioning in tip top shape at a local Women’s Shelter or Hostel.  A Hair Salon could partner with a Women’s Shelter to fill empty appointment times with free hairdressing for women whose lives are in turmoil.  A pizza place could deliver free pizza to first responders dealing with an emergency in the community.

We can reduce waste or employ people who need a break. Scarlet’s Bakery in Louisville, Kentucky hires women who have been victims of sexual, physical or mental exploitation.  A group of bike shops in Toronto, in desperate need of bike mechanics, partnered with a group committed to helping street kids to create a bike mechanic course that has resulted in 100s of at risk kids finding and keeping skilled, respectable, good-paying jobs.

We can all do something.  What will you commit to do in 2018 to make the world a better place and to make your business a more engaged and passionate place in which to work?  Ask your team for their ideas

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