You never really know someone until you walk around in their shoes. That’s why every December, instead of throwing a holiday party for ourselves, we ask every employee to go out and walk in the shoes of our customers. Its part scavenger hunt, part pay it forward, all teamwork and empathy. We call it Community Connect.
Each team is given a $400 check, a Netspend Prepaid Card, a bus pass, and the life story of a Netspend cardholder. The team first gets to know the cardholder through his or her story and then by doing things that the cardholder does. They cash the check, load it to the card, and then they find someone to pay a bill for, buy groceries for, and they fill gas tanks even if they have to push the car into the gas station. Each team documents the experience using a mobile app to show who they are helping.
When all of the teams return at the end of the day, they get to meet the customer whose footsteps they were walking in. This year was extra special because the Netspend cardholders we got to know were five of our fifteen Netspend scholarship recipients. Andrew, Gretarshii, Miesha, Matthew, and Mion flew in from all over the US to spend the day with our team.
Netspend is helping each of them pursue higher employment through education. Andrew is getting his rebreather certification so he can be a dive instructor. Gretarshii is working on a degree in project management and Miesha will be an amazing elementary school teacher. We love making an investment in our customers in such a meaningful way.
Community Connect is our way of creating a connection for our employees with each other, our customers, and our communities. It makes all of us better at what we do.