How B Corps Prioritize Worker Wellness for Stronger Business Impact

January 3, 2024

Business Programs and Policies Support Employee Physical, Mental, and Financial Well-Being

The start of a new year often brings a renewed focus on individual improvement and organizational goal-setting. For Certified B Corporations that incorporate positive impact in their business operations, a continual improvement journey includes an emphasis on initiatives for the well-being of workers. Supporting the mental and physical health of the people who power B Corps — with innovative programs for physical, mental, and financial wellness — also helps the companies become more resilient. 

Working to build a stakeholder economy drives B Corps to shape programs and policies that benefit people and the planet. These businesses seek to provide a foundation for employees’ and their families’ personal and collective well-being. It’s a holistic business perspective that explores new ways of helping people restore their physical and mental health and create an economy with individual and community wellness as a core goal. 

The supportive programs and policies are often created by B Corp employees who provide innovative input, feedback, and leadership. As Carolina Miranda of B Corp Cultivating Capital says of its workplace initiatives, “These decisions have all been made collaboratively as a team, and we’re constantly iterating to create a better work environment for everyone.”

Miranda and others in the B Corp community share examples below to help other businesses enhance worker wellness. The ideas include outdoor group activities, financial resilience programs, flexible schedules, and more. Explore their ideas and find inspiration to amplify wellness programming at your company. 

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Physical Well-Being: Events, Funding, and Programs to Support Wellness Journeys

Trampoline Design, a creative agency based in New York, offers group hikes and walks, seasonal activity days at the lake or on the slopes, and recipe sharing to support workers on their wellness journeys. Wellness challenges allow each worker to define what wellness means to them and set a goal to work toward. Trampoline Design staff members have shared their wellness-related skills with the group during office dance lessons, aerial yoga, and Pilates sessions. Founded with a principle to put family first, Trampoline Design has seen this take different forms for workers during 20 years in business. “Whatever family means, we encourage our staff to nurture that in ways that make sense for them,” says Managing Partner Paula Slayton. “We’ve long been advocates for well-being when it comes to our staff. It’s no secret that when they feel better in their lives, they are happier in their work lives.”

Trampoline Design, a creative agency based in New York, forms employee teams to participate in bike races or run or walk 5Ks. (Photo courtesy Trampoline Design)

Employees at IBSS Corp. select a wellness goal as part of their performance review and can request equipment to support their progress. The Maryland-based environmental science, information technology/cybersecurity, and management/professional service provider stocks its headquarters kitchen with coffee, treats, and fruit. Each day, the IBSS headquarters team takes a break for lunch together in the conference room — no business talk allowed.

“IBSS feels it is important for our employees to have a good balance between work and personal life,” says Program Manager Negin Hadaegh. “By fostering well-being, our employees choose to stay longer in their roles and have greater job satisfaction and reduced work-related stress.”

Colart is a London, UK-based global organization that manufactures art materials. They established a well-being program aimed at supporting physical, social, and mental/emotional health. These initiatives are developed and overseen by a network of volunteers known as Wellbeing Ambassadors. Teams at each Colart site worldwide tailor initiatives to suit regional needs while respecting the diversity of their workforce. A dedicated well-being page on Colart’s intranet showcases past activities through monthly photo gallery updates. Additionally, an employee assistance program offers counselling to navigate personal and professional changes.

Brewer Science, a developer and manufacturer of technology and electronics materials based in Missouri, encourages employees to take 30-minute paid wellness breaks daily. An on-site gym enables employees to build physical and mental development into their daily routines. Brewer Science provides employees with a wellness reimbursement benefit to purchase gym equipment or a local gym membership. The professional development team offers interactive training on topics that aid in professional development and personal wellness. One program focuses on emotional intelligence, encouraging employees to be mindful of their emotions and those of others. They also learn how to address differences in more productive, less stressful ways.

SMS Ecofleet Limited, a logistics provider in London, UK, provides employees with an annual allowance for apps that support well-being and an annual membership at a nearby gym. They can access health testing services, including a quarterly blood test of their choice. Workers can purchase a bicycle and accessories via salary deductions through a cycle-to-work program. A cost-of-living crisis support benefit is available to workers facing financial hardship. “Though some of these can be seen as a company benefit, I view them as something which helps my colleagues improve their mental health,” says Founder and Director Farah Asemi.  

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Financial Well-Being: Scheduling Flexibility and Support to Help Reduce Employee Stress   

Employees at Taos Ski Valley, a ski resort in New Mexico, are paid a living wage and can access employer-paid career development with the University of New Mexico. The company’s benefits package includes free mental health counseling, employee housing, and staff transportation. In addition to a free ski/snowboard season pass, staff members can access free lessons, pre-season conditioning, and yoga. “The commitment to offering a comprehensive package of financial, health, and recreational compensation helps ensure Taos Ski Valley can recruit and retain enough staff, which is extremely difficult in the competitive outdoor industry,” says Director of Human Resources Suzie Benton. “Having enough staff to run all the operations — from on-mountain work to food and beverage to housekeeping — is critical to Taos Ski Valley’s bottom line each season.”

The Oakland Group, a data consultancy based in Leeds, UK, recently implemented menopause-friendly measures, including appointing a company menopause champion to oversee policies. To address the rising costs of living, the Oakland Group provided a company-wide pay raise, introduced a financial platform, and bolstered mental well-being resources. A five-part workshop series supports well-being with check-in calls, mental health training, workshops, and more. 

Cultivating Capital, a sustainability and B Corp consultant firm based in California, allows team members to set their own hours, determine their priorities, and manage their work. Weekly team meetings, daily online communications, and full transparency into what each person is working on ensure that they are collaborating toward agreed-upon goals and fulfilling client commitments. Cultivating Capital offers unlimited PTO, stipulating that everyone takes at least two weeks off a year.

“We’ve found that flexibility and time off help us to be more focused and productive when we are working,” says Cultivating Capital Founder and CEO Carolina Miranda. “We can’t serve our clients well if we’re stressed out or burnt out, so ultimately prioritizing the well-being of our team contributes to achieving the best results possible for our clients.”

Reverb, a human resources consulting firm based in Washington, offers flexible work schedules. With a mission to create healthy, inclusive work cultures, Reverb provides unlimited PTO and closes its office for the week of July Fourth and during the winter holidays. Employees can also access navigation services when handling aging parents, a health diagnosis, or other life events. Jobs are scoped and resourced to ensure team members have time and energy to enjoy full lives outside work.

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Mental Well-Being: Workplace Workshops, Increased Coverage, and Time for Treatment

Global Brand and Export Development, a specialty food brokerage firm based in Illinois, provides monthly mental health workshops called Ways to Wellness. The workshops cover worker-selected topics such as mindfulness practices, ways to find value and fun outside of work, and active listening. A licensed therapist hosts the workshops, which provide a space to learn and talk about mental health. The B Corp has incorporated worker feedback and made adjustments to clarify the purpose of the workshops. “Although the sessions were optional, there was this underlying sense that they felt culturally mandatory,” says Alexis Mordawski, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager. “We worked to communicate the goal of these sessions and dispel the misconception about attendance at these meetings. … Half of what makes these sessions so valuable comes from the connecting activities that help build team morale and provide a bonding experience. The other half we have been told is that these sessions may teach them something new or serve as a great reminder on the topic and to hold space for taking care of their mental health.”

Libro Credit Union, a financial institution based in Ontario, Canada, doubled mental health coverage for workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on staff feedback, that benefit increased again at the start of 2024 to help ensure staff and families can access services from psychologists, social workers, and psychotherapists. People in administration-focused roles can talk with their managers about when and where they will work daily. The flexpectations program is designed to balance business needs with an employee’s life situation. A partnership with a local wellness provider includes one-on-one coaching so Libro Credit Union staff can discuss exercise, mental health, nutrition, and other issues. Other wellness programs include weekly newsletters, annual challenges, and quarterly webinars. “Because the program offers several ways to engage, staff are able to take what they’d like from the program to help feel supported in their personal wellness,” says Christine Bandy, Inclusion and Well-Being Specialist. “The feedback we get on our engagement surveys shows that staff appreciate these programs.” 

Organix Brands Ltd., an organic children’s food brand based in Dorset, UK, provides flexible work policies. This allows for hybrid scheduling and work while abroad, and reduced hours in the summer. Mental health supports include four mental health first-aiders, training for all on mental health awareness, and an assistance program that supports workers and their families.

“Ongoing training and communication have helped mental health conversations become the norm,” says Organix HR Advisor Lucy Critchley. “As a company we have high engagement scores and retention, and we know that our focus on well-being is a strong influence on our company being chosen by potential candidates.”

Fluid IT, an information technology services provider in London, holds social wellness as a core value through its work with charities and social impact organizations. The B Corp hires and trains refugees and people from charities and youth engagement programs. Its worker support includes paid mental health counseling for all staff members. Work schedules include time for employees to attend sessions and regroup emotionally after. “There has been quite a bit of take up, and the fruits of the work have been tangible in the business,” says David Schluter, Head of Business Development. 

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