Written by Glynis Board.
An ice pop factory in Wheeling, West Virginia, called Ziegenfelder Corporation, recently embraced hiring practices that ignore felony status and addiction history. CEO Lisa Allen said about 20 percent of her employees have some sort of legal or drug history — numbers that aren’t surprising given the ongoing opioid epidemic. But Allen doesn’t consider that background important hiring information.
“What’s relevant is behavior, commitment, values, hard work, helping each other, those kinds of things. You do that and you’re welcome here,” she said.
Allen’s company joins a number of organizations and communities that see compassion as an important business strategy. They point out there can be economic benefits from compassionate practices. And there’s research to back them up.
Dr. James Doty is a clinical professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University. He also founded and directs the school’s Center for Altruism and Compassion. He’s vice chair of the Charter for Compassion – an organization that calls for government and businesses to make decisions through the lens of compassion.
“Compassion can mean many things to different people, but in the context of science it’s defined as the recognition of the suffering of another with a motivational desire to alleviate that suffering,” Doty said.
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