From big parties to bumped-up pay checks, business milestones can be recognized in a myriad of different ways – but one Canadian company broke the mould recently when it gave an incredible $10,000 to each of its employees.
“We’re celebrating our tenth anniversary this year so as we approached the milestone, we began to look at ways of celebrating which were fitting with us as an organization,” said Sharon Alton, HRD of the MasterCard Foundation.
The Toronto-based foundation works to improve access to education, training, and financial inclusion in developing countries – which is why the $10,000 was for far more than just fun.
Each of the company’s full time employees were given the funds so they could direct it to a Canadian charity of their choice – close to $700,000 was eventually donated by staff.
“We wanted something that was in fitting with us as an organization and aligned to both our mission and our vision,” explained Alton, who said employees were both thrilled and overwhelmed by the opportunity.
“It became very personal for employees,” she revealed. “I know through my own experience of how personal it was and then the strength that came through that. The honour and the power and the privilege – everyone approached it from that perspective.”
Employees were also able to include a personal note with the donation, letting the organization know where it had come from and why.
“If the employee chose to be anonymous, that was absolutely fine, it was their choice but most people took great pride and had a huge sense of honour in being able to direct this gift,” Alton told HRM.
“It was a great way, a fantastic way, an unbelievably amazing way to celebrate our tenth year anniversary,” she added – so amazing, in fact, that the company is now exploring ways to continue the gesture on an annual basis.
“It won’t be in the size of $10,000 but we will be doing something on an annual basis now,” she revealed. “What that exactly looks like, we’re not exactly sure, but it will align to our mission, our vision, our culture and who we are.”
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