Good Foot Delivery is an urban courier service operating in downtown Toronto that almost exclusively hires people with developmental disabilities. For their employees, GF provides an opportunity for financial independence, self-direction and responsibility via a community to which they are integral contributors. For the business community, GF provides a superior dispatch on foot or by public transit. We love Good Foot because they see the value in hiring people who think and communicate differently and work to change environments so their employees can be at their best and most productive:
What is GoodFoot Delivery and how did it get started?
Good Foot Delivery is a social enterprise courier business. We started in February 2010 as a two person operation of Jon and Kirsten Gauthier our two co-founders. Jon had been having trouble finding quality employment and with his sister they discovered the opportunity for stable reliable delivery work servicing companies in the core of Toronto.
Why does it make good business sense to hire people with disabilities? Can you give us a specific example?
Reliability is paramount when it comes to the courier industry. After years of working in different areas of business I have come to appreciate staff that get to work on time and are ready to go. Our staff have an attendance rate above 95% and we have also retained over 95% of all staff and volunteers that have been trained here at Good Foot.
What is the biggest misconception about hiring people with disabilities?
Most businesses perceive that it will cost a lot more money, or be a lot more work to hire people with disabilities but in reality that is not the case.
I think a lot of people assume that government programs are meeting the needs of people with disabilities but what they don’t realize is that while this safety net may allow people to survive, very often it does not allow them to find meaningful employment and live to their full potential. There is a lot of good work being done, but as a society we need to set the bar higher. There’s a real demand for sustainable, well-paying jobs for people with disabilities and all sectors need to engage in order to get there.
What kind of environmental support does GFD provide so that your employees can thrive?
We set up relationships with local restaurants that provide healthy meals for the staff once a week. We offer yoga through a partnership with Downward Dog Yoga Studio that our couriers can go to for free. The work our couriers do is very physical and so that, combined with the yoga program really allows our couriers to increase their exercise levels. Through a partnership with Public Mobile our couriers receive free smart phones and have for three years now. It’s enabled our couriers to use a higher level of technology and in turn provide a higher level of performance.
What is the response from your corporate clients?
Extremely positive, customers try us out for the social purpose but continue using us for the reliability.
For more information please visit: http://www.goodfootdelivery.com/