Updated: 4 days ago
If you work for a B Corp, you probably know that we all live and breathe the B Corp Impact Assessment (BIA), and we’re no exception here at HigherRing. We have monthly meetings to review the various sections (even when it’s not recertification time!) and put much collaborative effort into thinking through how we will impact and elevate our business. While we are always looking for ways to improve and support our mission, it’s important to note that sometimes, living up to our mission means looking outside the predefined points system provided by B Labs.
HigherRing was founded by Michelle Hirons and Susan Hopkinson after the results of the 2016 election. They aimed to create quality jobs across the U.S. by providing efficient and effective outsourced operations support for SMBs. Michelle’s background is in call center and fulfillment operations, establishing the back-end systems and processes for big retailers and cloud-based SaaS enterprise companies. Through that work, she repeatedly saw that there were two classes of employees. The internal team was granted healthy salaries, robust benefits, and company ownership. At the same time, the folks on the front lines responsible for the brand experience with clients and customers were treated as replaceable—hired as 1099 contractors with low wages, no benefits, and no stake in the company's success. That injustice would later become an opportunity for HigherRing. What if these skilled workers, doing the hard work of positivity, negotiation, sales, and problem-solving, were treated with the dignity and fairness of others in the organization? What goodness could come from savvy customer care that could directly affect the top-line revenues of the business through increased sales and repeat business?
Though customer care is only one facet of our business these days, HigherRing employs every team member as a full W2 employee with an expansive benefits package, including a path toward company ownership and at least a living wage. We were founded with our team’s wellness in mind, so it’s no surprise that our benefits are thorough - yes, even when they don’t earn us BIA points.
Of course, we offer all the expected standard benefits—health, dental, vision, HSA/FSA, 401k, paid vacation, and paid sick time. Our contribution percentage to the healthcare offerings does help us raise our BIA score, so every year, we ask ourselves if we can increase those contributions. But this decision doesn’t sit solely with the C-suite—it comes from our team. We send out surveys to our entire staff annually to request their honest feedback about how often they use each benefit, which offerings are supporting them, and which they might have changed their minds about since the last time they gave feedback. As our team grows and changes and the socio-economic landscape shifts, the team's needs also fluctuate. Sending this survey allows us to keep a pulse on what benefits are needed for us to stay competitive as an employer and what benefits best support the wellness of our people.
When it comes to less traditional benefits—the ones that are less likely to be considered on our BIA—we’re particularly proud of our offerings. We love our PEO, Justworks, who does a great job of introducing new and exciting options and makes it easy for us to roll out benefits to our team that spans thirty-one states and soon two Canadian provinces. Through Justworks and other vendors, we’re able to offer options like:
Talkspace - online mental health therapy
Kindbody - gynecology and family-building care
Level - medical travel benefits (up to $2K per employee to cover almost any aspect of travel)
Financial coaching services, education & 0% loans from our sibling B Corp, Honeybee
Paid volunteer time
HealthAdvocate healthcare support
Several of the above are entirely free to our team. Our most recent addition is the medical travel benefits offered through Level. The decision to add this benefit was born out of necessity in response to the overturning of Dobbs in 2022. It was very important to us, as a woman-owned company and an ally to the trans community, to respond quickly and protect our employees' bodily autonomy. Reproductive rights and trans rights are human rights. We’re pretty sad that in 2023, we are still fighting this fight, but we are hopeful that in 2024, we will be able to make progress toward solidifying these rights.
When it comes to new benefits, as a proudly progressive company founded to ensure team wellness and with a diverse employee pool, we look for every opportunity to ensure our team’s care. This belief is in every facet of how we do business—threaded into our job postings, expressed in our social media, and woven into the benefits we prioritize. These are our values, plain and simple, regardless of whether they rank in the points system.
We’re proud to be a B because it means we are part of a community prioritizing inclusivity, equality, and employee feedback. This is why we’re looking forward to the new B Corp guidelines that will be rolled out throughout 2024. Even if the new guidelines don’t offer us additional points for our wellness benefits, we will continue to level up our offerings, year over year, just as we have since we were founded. We call them Karma points. We hope other Bs and purpose-driven organizations will join us in looking beyond the point system and take advantage of the new variations of benefits being offered to meet employee needs for wellness.
We've been featured! Check out this B Corp article, "How B Corps Can Create Workplaces That Help Support Worker Well-Being" to learn more about HigherRing and other brands that are supporting employee wellness.