You’ve heard it repeatedly over the last few months. Businesses have been forced to adapt to the rapidly changing business landscape. This has been, and will continue to be, a time of trial for most. Not all business will survive, but the ones with an appetite and proactiveness to adapt (whether forcefully or defensively) will come out on the other side. Off-course for many it will be too much to bare.
In the last 3 months, we’ve seen businesses take a multi-pronged approach to survival and adaptability. Combining speed and creativity to create new initiatives to support customers, employees and community.
Perhaps it has forced companies to think about their ‘why’ and how they can continue to exist with purpose. For some, what legacy can they leave behind, how can they be remembered? — Simon Sinek
It has been fascinating to observe how global companies and leaders have been responding, and that too all in very real time, experimenting, launching, tweaking — just responding in the best way they can.
Engaging in and supporting current health and social initiatives is a top of mind dialog for business leaders. As we know, real leaders are forged in a crisis. Here are 7 companies global companies adapting in pursuit of balancing business with social cause and the initiatives they’ve created to do so.
Havaianas: production lines focussing on PPE
- With flip-flop demand dramatically down, Havaiana’s is supporting health care professionals and vulnerable communities by using 99% of their production capacity to make protective personal equipment (PPE).
- Donating millions of Havaianas (aka flipflops), food and hygiene items to medical professionals and the vulnerable across Brazilian cities.
Sweetgreen: dedicating their entire Outpost Service to support healthcare workers
Sweetgreen, a loveable and high-end salad bar has dedicated its entire Outpost operations and teams to support those on the front lines by delivering free, fresh salads and bowls to hospitals during their shifts.
Uber: bringing transportation and essentials to healthcare workers and vulnerable communities
- Uber has launched discounted rides in low-income and vulnerable communities to connect them with food
- Offered free rides for healthcare and medical workers to get to hospitals safely
- Expanding the category of delivery items to include other essential items beyond take away food.
10M free rides and deliveries: We’ve committed to provide 10 million rides and food deliveries to healthcare workers, seniors and people in need, free of charge.
Lyft: funding rides for non-profit community organisations.
Lyft is offering grants of up to $5000 each, to small, non-profit organisations that are helping close transportation gaps in their own communities. These will total $500,000 in ride credit annually!
Bumble: grant funding for small businesses
- Better known for its dating app, Bumble also has a feature to connect people to professional/ networking opportunities and is offering 200 businesses across 11 countries a small business grant of up to $5000.
- For its dating-seeking users, Bumble has released new ways to keep users engaged with virtual dates, built-in games and opening up previously gated features to expand reach to more people.
Air BnB: support for laid off employees
- With travel being hit the hardest, and 25% of the company laid off, ex-Air BnB employees are not left to fend for themselves. Air Bnb have created an Alumni Talent Directory, to help place laid off workers into new jobs and career opportunities. With much love from Brian himself, this is my favourite pick.
- They have also created an Alumni Placement Program, so future vacancies can be first filled by these laid off employees.
Headspace: free mindfulness access for healthcare workers
We already saw the soaring demands for mindfulness in 2019, but in 2020 no one needs this more than our healthcare workers and medical staff. Headspace is making this possible with free access to its subscription mindfulness services through to the end of 2020.
So, do we think this is the “new normal” for business? Will we continue to see businesses so immersed in social cause?