I’d like to tell you a story that I’ve been wanting to write about for a while now. A topic that is very close to my heart.
Back in the early days of Goodio a middle-aged woman contacted us and asked if she could start working for us. She told that she is in rehabilitation program and that the government would support this hire with a pay subsidy. Since we needed an employee and she shared our values, mission and was really motivated we were happy to give her the opportunity.
Only couple weeks later we got two more applicants from the same rehabilitation program and we had our first Goodio factory team formed. Money was a constant issue for us back then, but the governmental pay subsidies enabled us to open our doors for these people. Of course there were some challenges too, but our new team members were extremely motivated and committed to their jobs. We would not be where we are today without them.
One of these people is a gentleman called Jorma. I still remember the first time I met him; his handshake was loose, he didn’t look at me in the eyes, he was mumbling and it was clear that his confidence was very low. To be honest, I was a bit concerned if he could make it. Few months after hiring Jorma, there was a time when we just didn’t have money and therefore needed to lay off people. Jorma asked me if he could still come and clean the place once a week, for free. This was the moment when it really hit me — he was our hard-working employee taking the company forward and we were the reason for him to feel like he mattered when he got up in the morning. A win-win-win situation for everyone. For him, our company and the society. Today when I look at Jorma, it makes me very happy. He’s walking around the factory in his smashing black chocolatier suit, holding his head up high while helping less experienced newbies with their daily tasks. What a growth story!
Our company principle is that at least 10 % of our employees have shortcomings in their professional skills, suffer from an injury or illness, experience some form of disability that affects the ability to cope at work or for some other reason have difficulties getting employed. Think about the positive impact big corporations would be making if they had the same policy? This would mean that a company of 10.000 employees would offer jobs for 1.000 unemployed people!
I think we all have much more potential than we even understand, but for different reasons are limiting ourselves. Sometimes we might need a little help from others to fully realize that. Let’s do it together!
Jukka Peltola, Founder & Positive Change Innovator
P.S. If you have a company and want to know more about pay subsidy, read more here.