behavior · community · happiness · hugs · play · Social

McDonald’s will be accepting hugs, calls to mom, and dance moves as payment

OK, so YES it is being sponsored by a huge megacorporation. YES it is a total gimmick. But it is such a COOL gimmick.

“That will be five hugs, please.”

Randomly selected McDonald’s customers will have the opportunity to pay for their meals with various tasks — such as doing a dance or calling their mom — between Feb. 2 and Feb. 14. The deal is outlined in a Super Bowl ad from the company, above, which will air on Sunday but is already posted on its YouTube page.

So, for example, breakfast might cost a fist bump to a McDonald’s crew member; lunch could be paid for with a call to a loved one; and dinner could go for a hug to a family member. But there will only be 100 winners at each store.

more via McDonald’s will be accepting hugs and dance moves as payment. (Mashable)

Last week I also posted about a major paint company that promoted their paint via enabling the handicapped in China to blow up paint balloons onto a canvas.

While to some it may feel “icky” to have mega-sized companies counting this kind of self-congratulating promotion as “spreading the love” or even “charity work,” frankly I am just happy that anyone, either an individual or a giant corporation, is taking steps to making their spaces a little bit happier and more enriching. Companies spend millions of dollars to make their customers happy, so why not spend a little bit of that on a smile?

When has a corporation made your day better, either through a promotion or just because an employee took some time to acknowledge you? Leave it in the comments below.

behavior · community · culture · happiness · Social

At Google, groups are key to the company’s culture – San Jose Mercury News

Google Appliance as shown at RSA Expo 2008 in ...
Being part of a social group at work provides a pillar of support. Image via Wikipedia

Company culture seems to be this ethereal idea that no one can really wrap their head around, but “they know it when they see it.” They also know that employees having a strong connection with peers at work and a social buy-in to their employer promotes loyalty, worker productivity, and less absenteeism. This is an interesting profile of one aspect of Google’s work culture and community – creating mini support groups and internal communities.

Groups have always been an integral aspect of life at Google, but as the company approaches 30,000 employees, they have become an ever more critical mooring for new and veteran employees at a company trying to assimilate “Nooglers” at a pace of more than 100 a week. Many valley companies have groups for employee minority or cultural groups, but Google goes further, actively encouraging, and sometimes evenAdvertisementproviding financial support, for employees to organize special-interest groups ranging from economic theory to photography.

Google has 19 “Employee Resource Groups” or ERGs, employee-initiated entities that receive
financial support from the company and represent social, cultural or
minority groups…

more via At Google, groups are key to the company’s culture – San Jose Mercury News.

The article goes on to point out, and this should be a no brainer, that having a healthy, enriching work environment is also crucial to overall individual wellness and work fulfillment. Many companies are afraid to let their teams “goof off.” Maybe they should consider it “Googling off.”