Remember the days when your newsfeed wasn’t filled with stories about people in power sexually harassing or assaulting anyone/colluding with Russia/stripping certain groups of people their basic human rights? Me, neither.
That’s why I made it my mission to find a few work-related news stories from this past year that didn’t make me want to go home and immediately crawl into bed with a box of wine and a pint of Halo Top ice cream.
Much to my (pleasant) surprise, it wasn’t that hard to find stories of people using their positions of power for good instead of evil. Check out some of these not at all terrible events that took place among companies and their employees this past year…
Employers Showed Appreciation
Porsche thanked its employees for the company’s best year ever by giving every single employee a major bonus (nearly $10,000).
Kraft Heinz decided giving its employees a day off was a better investment than buying some dumb ol’ Super Bowl ad. Meanwhile, the owners of several McDonald’s restaurants in New Mexico are investing in their employees’ futures.
Companies Gave Back
An Ohio-based realty company is giving away a newly remodeled house to someone in need – no strings attached, and a Tennessee cleaning services company offers free housecleaning for those who need it most.
A New York City startup is helping the local homeless, giving them free smartphones with technology that gives them access to financial services, local shelters and food pantries.
This Chicago-based flower company gives 25 percent of its profits to a different charity each month, while this online apparel company donates profits and goods to make life better for kids with cancer. Meanwhile, this brewery in Montana is turning profits into educational opportunities for kids.
A formerly homeless man in Kentucky now runs a shelter to help others who were once like him. Over in Denver, a new citywide program is helping homeless people get back to work.
A company in Utah is also helping the homeless get back to work – by giving away free suits to help them look their best when interviewing. (It’s already helped one man land a job.)
Companies and Staff Came to the Aid of Hurricane Victims
Houston Texans player J.J. Wyatt helped raise $37 million for Hurricane Harvey victims, while United Airlines’ CEO chipped in his own money for hurricane relief, as did a slew of celebrities.
Meanwhile, Texas Pizza Hut workers took to kayaks to deliver pizzas to families trapped in their homes after the disaster, and Southwest Airlines employees used a plane (obviously) to rescue more than 60 pets left stranded by the hurricane. And when they were trapped at their place of work following Hurricane Harvey, employees at a Texas bakery spent the time baking bread for other victims.
Workers Performed Random Acts of Kindness
Instead of arresting the man who tried to steal clothes for a job interview, a Toronto cop paid for the man’s clothes himself. (Spoiler alert: The guy got the job.)
Firefighters in Miami threw a surprise baby shower for a pregnant woman whose apartment burned down earlier this year.
Instead of handing out tickets for minor traffic violations, police in Montana surprised drivers with turkeys for their Thanksgiving dinners. (Perhaps they took a cue from actor Matthew McConaughey, who also surprised random Kentucky residents with free turkeys.) In another act of Thanksgiving good will, a Publix cashier in Boston helped a customer pay for his groceries.
Proving that even small gestures make a big impact, a waitress at a Georgia diner helped an injured veteran enjoy his breakfast, while a Walmart cashier in Mississippi reminded the world that patience is a virtue.
Have a good workplace story of your own to share? Tweet us @cbforemployers