Paying It Forward
Paying it forward is a concept that has been around forever, but the phrase was termed by Lily Hardy Hammond in her book ‘In The Garden Of Delight’ which was published in 1916. Paying it forward is an expression for describing the beneficiary of a good deed, repaying it to others instead of the original benefactor. Let us break it into simpler terms. For example, if business X offers a piece of advice to Y with the intention of getting help in return from Y in some other way, then the system becomes closed with just two individuals involved in the whole process. This is not what paying it forward means. This is the exact opposite of what it means. The system becomes pay it forward when X helps out Y with no intention of anything back from Y. Plus X would also want Y to push the suggestion forward to other members of the team so that the idea passes from one person to another, thus, helping everyone out at one point or the other. This is the soul of the concept. Everything doesn’t have to be for personal gain. In Vantage Agora, we believe that if we trust people and start by giving, the world will take care of us. With this, we bring you the 7th Value of VA – ‘Pay It Forward’.
According to Fred Reichheld, paying it forward is like triggering a chain reaction of good deeds. A reaction in one good deed leads to another and thus moves forward into an infinite number of good deeds, rather than coming back into a give and take process. It is a simple, inexpensive, intelligent act of kindness from the company’s side, building loyalty, which can take you a long way in the rat race of the modern day. It is a must for all companies to create a sense of goodwill among customers and to keep positivity flowing. To get there, the company has to foster this culture without merely working for profits. There are three ways by which we can get closer to this culture of paying it forward:
- Eliminate Bad Profits – According to Fred, bad profits come from deceiving or mistreating customers. The companies should learn to treat their customers well and only then will the employees go the extra mile to create happier customers.
- Set Different Standards For Success – Trust your employees and listen to their part of the story. This will instill confidence in them to come out of their shells and be more free. Also, success shouldn’t be measured in a comparative style. Everyone is successful in one way or another and that fact has to be accepted. Standards should be set with that in mind.
- Measure Progress & Reward Positive Behavior – Measuring is always an integral part of any process. Keep track of how far you have come as an organization. Evaluating the performance and making it public will show customers and employees that you take service seriously. This will make them more loyal and in tune with the way you operate.
In this technology-driven era where most of daily things are now automated, let’s strive to be different as far as sharing knowledge is concerned. Treat employees and customers as fellow human beings and see the difference it makes to the organization as trust builds up and you trigger that chain reaction of good deeds. As the boss, don’t be in a hurry to drive the vehicle – choose the right people, trust them and then let them drive the bus, paying it forward.