Commitment to Change
What gives a company corporate social responsibility credentials? The first requirement is a commitment to changing something, alleviating suffering or improving other people’s lives in some way. Another staple of a CSR company is a sustainable model. Sustainability can come in the areas of supply chain, personnel, environmental considerations, or simply a focus on long term growth instead of immediate profits.
One vital factor that makes a company corporate social responsibility program work is its emphasis on people and relationships. Forward thinking companies want an empowered workforce, with employees who feel a sense of purpose. Staff members should be unified as a team. When employees are valued and feel satisfied with their duties, they do not want to leave the workplace. This leads to less turnover and less need for management to look for new employees. By forging relationships with its workers, and allowing them to create their own relationships, companies become more efficient and profitable. Just this one aspect of a company corporate social responsibility program can affect lives in a measurable way.
One company that values its employees and works hard to change lives is Greyston Bakery. Located in Yonkers, New York, the company has helped people facing barriers to employment since 1982. The bakery will hire anyone who needs a job. There are no reference checks, and Greyston’s managers do not consider past employment history. This social enterprise model allows anyone who needs it a chance to start fresh in a supportive environment.
Why Open Hiring Works
Open hiring, at first blush, may sound like a recipe for disaster. But in practice, the program is very successful as part of a holistic approach to recovery. Employees come from all sorts of backgrounds. Some are felons or were raised in poverty. Many have life circumstances that make it hard to find employment. These circumstances include being homeless, not having access to transportation, or being a single parent with few options for childcare.
Unlike traditional employers, Greyston Bakery takes these obstacles into account and gives employees the tools to overcome them. In addition to a job, Greyston provides vocational training, continued development, environmental and cultural education, and even a learning center for children of employees.
Trailblazing Benefit Corporation
Greyston became the first company in New York to register as a benefit corporation. B Lab, the B corp certifying body, continues to recognize Greyston with awards. The bakery is able to show its positive impact on society and its shareholders. The B corp and benefits corp statuses help Greyston focus on environmental protections. The company uses solar power to bake its famous brownies which are its flagship product.
Greyston has definitely earned its company corporate social responsibility credentials. The social enterprise offers a job and a chance to rise up for anyone who needs it. Society benefits when there are fewer people living in poverty. As Greyston continues to practice CSR as its core value, there will be no limit to what it and its valuable employees can achieve.
Michael Brady, CEO of Greyston Bakery, talks about how their bakery offers employment to anyone including those adults who came out of jail or who has legal issues in the past.
Wall Street Journal features Greyston Bakery – the bakery that has a uniquie hiring process; no reference or background check. It employs anyone who needs job.
A story of Dion and how Greyston Bakery gave hima a second chancce to live a better life for him and his family.
Dion shares his story of how Greyston Bakery hired him despite his legal background and how it helped him and his family live a better life.