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Take Your Shoes Off!

by Beth on April 8th, 2010

Today TOMS is sponsoring “One Day Without Shoes” events all over the world so that people can imagine how it might feel to grow up barefoot.  If you aren’t familiar with TOMS Shoes, it is a company founded by Blake Mycoskie based on a one for one business model: “With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need”.  So far TOMS has given away over 600,000 pairs of shoes.  Pretty cool, huh?  You can check out their story in this video.

Can you imagine the positive emotions that people who work for TOMS Shoes must experience on a daily basis?  Practicing acts of kindness or helping others is one of the number one happiness-enhancing interventions and TOMS entire mission is based on giving to those in need.  More and more businesses today are founded upon the idea that doing good and doing business aren’t mutually exclusive.  They are also finding that people want to work for companies that make a difference in other people’s lives.

The good news is that leaders in any organization can create positive work environments where employees are engaged and committed by offering opportunities for their employees to help others.  Cisco organizes volunteer projects in their local communities so that “Cisco Citizen” volunteers can give back.  Goldman Sachs encourages their employees to volunteer through their Community TeamWorks program that involves people in projects ranging from building homes to working with the elderly and mentoring youth.  Through the Starbucks Shared Planet Community Service Grants employees organize volunteer projects with local nonprofit organizations.  And the list goes on.

So how do you encourage your employees to give back?  Please share your stories of how your company involves its members in projects that let them make a difference in the lives of others.

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