Governance is a policy-heavy section of the B Impact Assessment, rewarding organizations that codify their good-for-the-world values into the way they do business. What is useful about the B Impact Assessment — and the structure of B Corporation more generally — is that it is as inspirational as it is evaluative. It’s helped us to think about writing down and formalizing how we’ve approached business and people decisions since the beginning.
More specifically, this section evaluates a company's overall mission, engagement around social and environmental impact, ethics, and transparency. It also measures the ability of a company to protect its mission and formally consider stakeholders in decision-making through corporate structure (e.g. benefit corporation) or corporate governing documents.
We’ve led Klausing Group in the spirit of B Corp for a long time — but the way to ensure that this leadership mindset and approach lives beyond us is by writing it into the very DNA of the business. Codified in our policies and processes so that we’re all moving in that direction together. Our mission statement, while important, is only the tip of the spear when it comes to guiding our decisions. And so we’ve made a concerted effort to document and solidify specific policies that make these practices our default, not only our preference.
A significant component of this policy work is reinforcing that our entire team – from the front lines to leadership – is integral to the mission. Last year, our annual all-employee survey assessing staff engagement and satisfaction revealed that internal communication and individual recognition were areas with room for improvement. To address that opportunity, we focused this year on crew leaders, the direct link between leadership and field staff. We conducted management training with the group and involved them in the hiring process for their own teams. We also created a new way to share individual wins with our entire team. Anyone on our team can now give a “woot woot” to a team member who has gone above and beyond for the rest of the team to see and celebrate.
We are also building in our preference for native plants that support pollinators and don’t require extra irrigation, low to no emissions equipment, and smart landscaping practices into our hiring practices and operational processes. We write into job descriptions our social and environmental objectives. We default to giving back to the communities where we work. We replace old equipment with better, more sustainable options.
Here’s the thing. We know that this section is unsexy. It’s easier and, frankly, more fun to talk about other things (our team, our community, the environment). But this section provides the healthy roots for all of that. Or perhaps the better metaphor is healthy soil. It’s how we ensure that our good-for-people, good-for-environment, good-for-business approach is adopted and owned by each of us at Klausing Group, across the organization, now and in the future.