Work for a Company That Works for Everyone
We spend most of our days at the workplace, and how we feel about our jobs often carries over into the rest of our lives.
By knowing that their work builds a stronger company and helps others in the community, B Corp workers enjoy a positive workplace where they make a difference.
Employees at Certified B Corporations are better able to align their jobs with their values and find more purpose every day by working for companies where protecting people and planet is part of the mission.
At B Corp Leesa Sleep, Head of Social Impact Jen-Ai Notman says team members appreciate how their efforts expand the company’s social impact and strengthen the business.
“Every person is responsible for our impact and our success,” Notman says. “That has been really powerful both in retaining and attracting employees. It has to be a culture fit for whoever comes on board — in accounting, design, brand. They’re all going to be touching our mission and involved in it.”
Leesa Sleep, a direct-to-consumer online mattress company, donates one mattress for every 10 sold.
Attracting Top Talent: The Value of Being a B Corp
While members of the millennial generation have gained lots of media attention in recent years for their purpose-driven work preferences, they aren’t alone in that goal.
Whether they want to protect the environment, improve their community or better the lives of others, workers of all ages can find these opportunities at Certified B Corporations, where protecting people and planet is part of the mission. By working for B Corps, people can vote their values every day and build businesses that value equity, environment and community.
On B the Change, two B Corps share how they are attracting more people to the B Corp movement through their focus on community and environment.
The Economic Impact of Workplace Culture
With nearly half of all U.S. workers unhappy with their jobs, according to one survey, and unemployment rates near 50-year lows — read higher competition for great employees — employers are realizing they need to provide more than a paycheck to attract and keep the best people.
So what makes an employee feel happy and valued? According to Aimee Koval of B Corp Metis Consulting Group, happiness can be cultivated through the personality of a workplace. Influenced by leadership, employees, mission, values, ethics, expectations and goals, workplace culture extends beyond the walls of a business and influences how employees treat clients and customers, co-workers, their communities and the environment.
Read more of Koval’s tips for attracting great employees on B the Change.
Employee Activism: A Positive Force
In recent years, employees at big tech companies and other corporations have been vocal about their values — and the role they believe their employer should play in the world.
As author Jon Mertz writes on B the Change: “Is this the beginning of a new era? It may feel like it, but employee activism has been alive and well for decades. We’ve just called it by a different name: unions. It’s how employees are organizing today that has taken new shape and meaning.”
Mertz shares four tips for CEOs and other business leaders on how employee activism can be an important and positive force for business success:
Recognize that employees see themselves as citizens of the company.
Any CEO interested in embracing employee activism should remember that employees rarely view their employer as just a paycheck. Individuals have many choices in how they make money, especially with such a strong job market. The employees working for a particular business are likely there because the work aligns with their talents and the company aligns with their values. They have a vested interest and take great care in how the business presents itself to the world. Celebrate this, and honor their commitment. When activism begins, recognize it comes from a caring, personal place.
Check your values, and develop a philosophy.
It’s one thing to plaster your mission and values on the walls and another to understand change through new experiences. Values risk becoming dogma while your leadership philosophy should evolve based on experiences in your organization and community. Revisit your values and leadership philosophy based on what you and others are experiencing. Failing to do so will leave you out-of-step with employees who will eventually feel the misalignment, which could trigger outrage or mobilization on issues they feel the CEO or leadership has missed.
Foster open conversations about difficult topics.
When company values are firmly in place, find ways to start and continue dialogues around community, political or people issues that could be important to your employees. For example, if the business is based in a rundown part of town, economic development might be an important topic to discuss. These conversations could take place during staff meetings, through an organized event, at a community forum or in a variety of other ways. The important thing is that the conversations start, and the CEO and other leaders are committed to listening and acting.
Build employee goodwill over time.
Any time CEOs or leaders can demonstrate they’ve listened to the issues impacting their employees, these leaders build goodwill. This goodwill, built over time through a variety of actions, will prove to be powerful when employees disagree with leadership.
Employee activism is a trend that will continue to rise. It’s up to business leaders to understand how they want to interact with it. To ignore it would be a mistake they would surely regret. To deal with it with a strong hand would also be harmful and likely cause retaliation.
The best choice is to embrace it and to ensure it becomes a force for good — for not only the business but the entire community.