Look for the Helpers:
Business as a Force for Good
We are living in uncertain times; there’s no doubt about that. And yet, amidst uncertainty and hardship, you can often find abundant evidence of kindness, compassion, and optimism. At TiER1, we believe organizations exist to serve people, not the other way around. That’s why we’ve started a new temporary article series, “Look for the Helpers,” (named, of course, for the famous quote from Fred Rogers) that aims to celebrate organizations who are putting their people and communities first. In our first edition, we’re highlighting ten organizations that have stepped up to help protect the health and financial security of their employees, customers, and communities. Kudos to the leaders of the following organizations who are using business as a force for good.
1. Procter & Gamble announced that they will expand their manufacturing capacity to increase hand sanitizer and face mask production. CEO David Taylor wrote, “In service to people everywhere who are caring for their families and communities – all day, every day, P&G people are stepping up and serving others as a force for good.” The company has also increased safety measures for its people.
2. Kroger has taken numerous steps to support and protect its employees. After creating a one-time appreciation bonus for all frontline associates, the company also announced a Hero Bonus that would increase hourly wages by $2 for all frontline employees between March 29 and April 18. They’ve also been increasing health and safety measures to protect both employees and companies.
3. MSA – The Safety Company donated its complete allotment of available N-95 respirators to the local Pittsburgh medical community. The allotment included 65,000 respirators, which will directly help medical professionals treating patients. The company is also working with the White House to find ways to shift its priority to producing other types of respirators that could be useful in COVID-19 treatment.
4. FedEx founder and CEO Fred Smith decided to take a 91 percent salary reduction for the next six months to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the company. After taxes and charitable donations, Smith will make just $1 a month.
5. Supermarket company Giant Eagle Inc. is devoting $10 million to bonus payments for frontline associates who are continuing to serve their communities amid uncertainty. Team members and warehouse workers will receive bonus payment until at least May 2. Giant Eagle President and CEO Laura Shapira Karet said of their frontline workers, “We cannot thank them enough. They are our heroes.”
6. Insurance provider Highmark is waiving all deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance costs for insurance members who receive in-network care for COVID-19. Highmark Inc. President Deborah Rice-Johnson called it “the right thing to do for our members and for our community.”
7. PPG Industries is donating 80,000 surgical and N-95 masks to hospitals across the country, including networks in New York, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Detroit. They’re also using their global supply chain network to help Pittsburgh-area hospitals overcome supply shortages.
8. and 9. Delta Airlines is offering free round-trip flights to medical volunteers who are flying to the areas hit hardest by COVID-19, including New York, Georgia, Louisiana, and Michigan. The effort is being supported by Deloitte — the company donated its unused ticket balances to help fund travel for medical volunteers.
10. Comcast is putting employee job security first. The organization is pledging $500 million to continue paying employees whose jobs have been “paused or impacted.” CEO Brian Roberts and other executives will also donate their salaries to COVID-19 relief efforts.
As a B-Corp, we believe that business can be a force for good and change in the world. Organizations are being asked to answer that call to higher purpose and service with more energy than ever, and we’re excited to celebrate those who are stepping up to the plate. What examples are you leading or seeing in today’s world?