Three Companies That Still Put People First

Joost Minnaar
Written by Joost Minnaar May 16, 2020

"Nothing reveals character like a crisis." We wrote this recently and, as predicted, during the Corona crisis, companies revealed their true colors. Recently, we highlighted the bad. So let's turn to the good, and highlight organizations that not only talk about putting people first, but also walk their talk. Let's applaud those that put their money where their mouth is in difficult times.

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Here are three inspiring companies that show you should always put people first – and especially in times of crisis.


First Basecamp, American software company.

David Heinemeier Hansson, founder of Basecamp, recently shared a new policy for its software on twitter:

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He added: "Employee surveillance goes against everything we believe at Basecamp. So refusing such apps access to perpetrate their ills against employees on our platform wasn't hard."

Basecamp’s newest policies now take a stand against remote user surveillance. They write: "We’re about remote work within an environment of trust, not spying on your employees. It’s recently come to our attention that some third-party integrations go beyond traditional time tracking functionality to surveillance. We’re not okay with that and we’re codifying that stance in this policy update."

And they walk the talk. This is what the new policy states: "Third parties may not access and employ the API if the functionality is part of an application that remotely records, monitors, or reports a Service user's activity other than time tracking, both inside and outside the applications. The Company, in its sole discretion, will determine if an integration service violates this bylaw. A third party that has built and deployed an integration for the purpose of remote user surveillance will be required to remove that integration."



Second, Chobani, American yoghurt manufacturer.

Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani's founder, writes: "Right now our families, friends & neighbors are facing some of their most difficult days. But thanks to so many heroes - like our nurses & doctors, grocery store clerks, delivery people, plant workers & farmers - they don't have to face this pandemic alone."

When you buy local, you’re supporting the small businesses that anchor our communities.
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Chobani turned their Chobani Cafe in New York City into a temporary food pantry so they can support the immediate needs of, and give critical support to, families in their communities in the weeks and months ahead. Ulukaya writes, "We believe food banks should be celebrated & supported by everyone in the community. A place where families are nurtured and hope gathers."

They are also committed to sending a truck-a-day to food banks across the US that are desperately in need of supplies. This is on top of a million cups of yoghurt they have already donated to their communities recently.


Third, Patagonia, the American retail company.

A month ago Patagonia took the brave decision to close all their retail stores and distribution centers for the health and safety of their employees and customers. While they were closed for business, they promised employees they would just pay them as usual.

Now, one month later, and after lots of internal preparation, Patagonia is back in business. But to ensure high levels of safety for employees and customers, they limited the times of their operations. They provide and require wearing of face masks and gloves for all on-site employees. They also installed temperature scanners at all building entrances as an extra precaution.

Now these precautions are in place, they are taking orders again. They still however call upon their community to be responsible. This is what they say:

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Let's end with one more of their powerful statements: "When you buy local, you’re supporting the small businesses that anchor our communities." Amen to that!

Your call

These three American companies show that putting people and community first in times of crisis is vital.

I'm curious to hear more stories of such inspiring companies. Do you know of any? Please drop them below in the comments.

Written by Joost Minnaar
Joost Minnaar
Co-founder Corporate Rebels. My daily focus is on research, writing, and anything else related to making work more fun.
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