Written by Jessica Ballinger, associate partner, Milk & Honey PR.
Being a B Corp is about being a better business. It is a commitment to social and environmental excellence, and it provides a framework to improve our own performance as a fast-growing PR agency.
B Corp certification should be more celebrated as a powerful tool for quality improvement. Here are four ways it gives us a strong structure for sustainable growth:
1) Probing business processes
B Corp asks question after question to challenge our organisational processes. It stress-tests standards across five areas of performance – workers, environment, community, governance and customers – helping us to manage our growth more effectively. Being process driven makes it easier to share knowledge, drive efficiencies and maintain a consistent level of service.
2) Attracting talent
B Corp certification helps us to communicate who we are as a business, so we continue to attract talented people who are committed to social and environmental excellence. This creates a powerful cycle of change. We grow our team with people who are passionate about purpose, and they continue to challenge ways of doing things so we can be an even better business. B Corp means we build our team out with people who have the same values, so we all keep moving in the same direction as we grow.
3) Measuring what matters
In PR, we often tell our clients: ‘We can measure anything as long as we agree up front’. The same should stand for our own performance measurement. Fortunately, the initial B Corp impact assessment doesn’t give much room for measurement regrets. It gets a pulse check across the entire business so, when you want to review areas you are doing well or need to improve, you always have a baseline to refer back to. Getting measurement right is even more important for ambitious, growing companies which want to mark milestones, celebrate successes and refine growth strategies.
4) Setting goals
The B Corp Impact Assessment recommends goals to improve business performance. This continual process keeps fast-growing companies focused on results – for themselves and for the world around them.
All these factors contributed to B Corp accredited businesses growing 28 times faster than UK GDP over a 12-month period. But certification is not a silver bullet to operational excellence and growth. In fact, it is just one tool we use – alongside the PRCA CMS, Investors in People, and NPS scoring – to get a rounded picture of how our business standards are serving us.
Being a B Corp is first and foremost a commitment to being a force for good. But the community is mature enough to be able to celebrate commerciality, business excellence, and the ability to balance purpose with profit. Companies can be fast-growth and a force for good all at the same time.