I hope you are all healthy, safe and making the best of these times. The jury still seems to be out on whether some restrictions will be lifted in certain locations. Hopefully, we will get good guidance so that we can actually begin to move forward without significant setbacks in health or livelihoods.
One of the hardest things for many of us who employ people, is the commitment to doing everything we can to take care them at all times including during this more challenging crisis. Taking care of our team at Brooks is not a new idea. As an employer, I apply a lot of my perspective on life to the workplace. Life is too short not to enjoy where you spend most of your hours each day. Granted, a job is a means to a living but, ideally, it is wonderful when you actually enjoy it.
Back in 2018, I invested significant time to make sure I was providing for my team at a level that qualified us to become a Certified B Corporation.
A Certified B Corporation is a traditional corporation with modified obligations committing to higher standards of purpose, accountability and transparency. Certified B Corporations are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. It is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good.
I want to share with you what I learned about being a better employer through this process.
As a small company with rapid growth over the last decade, the certification process made me take steps that had been on the “to do” list forever such as creating an employee handbook. I had to examine things like benefits, transparent sharing of company information, the gap between my highest and lowest paid team member, the length of stay and turnover rate for the team, ongoing education benefits, etc. It pushed me to implement new policies and programs to benefit the team such as providing 20 hours of paid volunteer time, holding an annual meeting and quarterly updates on how the company was performing, an education budget, evaluating the difference between living wage and minimum wage and many more.
It has made me a better employer for sure.
We completed our certification application and was awarded B Corp status in January 2019. Currently, there are 3,285 B Corps in 150 industries in 71 countries around the world. Of the 3,285 companies, 19 are wineries. Guess what? 9 of the 19 wineries are in the Willamette Valley of Oregon with us! They include Stoller, Chehalem, Sokol Blosser, Rex Hill, A to Z, Patton Valley, David Hill, Winderlea and Brooks! That makes a beautiful statement about our community.
Needless to say, I am taking every effort possible to provide for my team during this challenging time financially and emotionally. It is what keeps me up at night. The responsibility of livelihoods is so real.
And that being said, as many of you know, our team is the best! All of your support makes such a difference so thank you!
We are devoted to doing so much more. Below you will find a link to our commitments.
Be sure to check out the link below to learn more about Certified B Corporations. I am happy to discuss details and answer questions. As always, please reach out about this or other questions to [email protected] or call me at 831-238-4828 (although I might make you zoom call!)
Thank you for all of your love and support of Brooks!