Pay It Forward | How to Motivate Employees by Giving Back

Those who have acquired great wealth sometimes feel a sense of emptiness. One of the most well known givers Mahatma Ghandi said: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Many organizations across the globe have stood out among many because of their continuous support to less fortunate communities.

Research has shown that giving has many upsides compared to receiving. When it comes down to it, people who earn money and spend a percentage on others often feel a sense of compassion. Even if money is not acquired, anything as small as a smile can impact a person’s day and the pattern continues on as you “pay it forward”.

Follow In Toms’ Footsteps

motivate employees by giving back like toms shoesTOMS “one for one” is an organization that helps improve lives within the United States and globally. Their main target is finding a need for an underprivileged geographic area, and supplying them with that product. For instance, TOMS Roasting Company partnered with Water for People and created a challenge; each bag of coffee purchased, resulted in a new watering project in the country where the beans were originated. Other items include eyewear and shoes.

As a result of TOMS commitment to generosity, ten million pairs of shoes have been given to children in need. In regions where shoes are given, they eventually begin to produce shoes as a result. Also, they have worked to help partnering organizations give to those in need. TOMS wants to spread the culture of giving.

How to Motivate Employees By Giving Back

Money and raises are important if your team is having trouble making ends meet. If employees are struggling to pay their bills at home, they will be demotivated regardless of how much you try to engage with them. Check in with your team. If compensation is meeting everyone’s needs, try giving back to motivate employees.

According to a new research paper from Harvard Business School, spending money on others makes us happy. The researchers cite a 2008 study they conducted. Subjects were given five dollars or 20 dollars to spend by the end of the day. Half of the participants were told to buy themselves something nice. The other half were instructed to use the money to help somebody in need. Results found that the givers reported greater happiness. Similar results have occurred through other means of giving back.

charitable take our kids to work day activity

Your organization doesn’t need to be a non-profit or social enterprise to give back to the community. Employer supported volunteering encourages team building, boosts publicity and attracts new staff. Your company can start by contributing pro bono staff time, professional skills, and company resources to local organizations. Offer employees time off to volunteer during the work day or coordinate days of service for your team to work together on large group projects. Be sure to include your team in the decision to give back. Feeling cornered can suck the joy out of giving.

Support Our Troops

Operation Military Care is a program that gives back to our US Armed Forced while helping your team unite in a myriad of fun and productive ways. This impactful program includes face-paced, competitive and engaging team building activities that lead up to the final team challenge – care packages assembled for our military heroes. Previous beneficiaries have included USO, Blue Start Mothers, HEROES Care, National Guard and Operation Homefront.

motivate employees by giving back with operation military care


Put some heart into your team building event. Check out all of our charity team building programs.

Is there a non-profit organization close to your heart? How could your team give back? Share your ideas with us and we’ll try adding them to a program.

Cody Pratt

Team Contributor


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