When I first heard about Traction for Good (T4G), Traction’s philanthropic arm, I was intrigued by all the good being done by a for-profit company. Coming from the non-profit sector, I knew that community impact and philanthropy were important to me professionally and personally. So, when I read Traction’s tagline “Community, Not a Company” I knew I found my fit. While much of T4G’s community initiatives are tied to building capacity in the non-profit sector through service grants and inspiring philanthropy internally, they also go the extra mile as a B Corp to encourage social business. Traction became a B Corp in 2013 to keep us accountable, differentiate ourselves from competitors, attract incredible people, and to benchmark our performance for continuous improvement. Our goal is to inspire other companies to incorporate community impact in their business, to understand that doing good is good for business, and to play an active role in growing this movement of people using business as a force for good. Here are five ways in which Traction has redefined success in business by being a B Corp:
- Doing good is part of our DNA; it’s not just an afterthought. At Traction, we’re more than just a company. Our values drive our everyday business decisions because our community is at the heart of everything. We truly believe that the greatest impact we can have is to “give what we’re good at”, as well as give Tractionites the opportunity to support causes close to their hearts. Doing good starts early when a newbie joins the Traction family – each newbie is given a $25 Kiva card to loan to any entrepreneur of their choice.
- Transparency is key. Aside from the word community, transparency was a word that I heard a lot of since day one. Traction strives to be honest and open with all stakeholders and in doing so, we can do the right thing. In practice, Traction Enable provides project transparency and collaboration that will put the customer first.
- Create more time to play. During an onboarding session on Traction’s cultures and values, newbies first heard of “more time to play”. Our goal is to be able to do more with less. When we eliminate redundant workflows and maximize time, that leaves more time to play. Happier work lives = happier companies = happier customers = happier families.
- Aim to inspire. Together with the BC Tech Association, CHIMP and Unbounce, The Tech Collective was founded to inspire and assist companies to build community impact programs and to collaborate on common interests and causes.
- ESOP. Our Employee Stock Ownership Plan empowers people to act and think like owners. It fosters an entrepreneurial spirit where decision making occurs at all levels and new ideas are continuously embraced and adopted. Traction has always been an employee-first company; if we're well taken care of, we'll take great care of each other, our customers and community.
In my short time at Traction, I’ve seen how our people really embrace change (like an office makeover in my second week!), but the one thing that remains constant are our values. During B Corp month this February, we challenge you to think about how you redefine success.