Arlington Chamber of Commerce Blog

 

Redefining the Triple Bottom Line: Profit, People and Purpose

by Admin 3. February 2016 05:02

by Peter Harrison, Snagajob CEO

The concept of the Triple Bottom Line of “People, Profit and Planet” has been around for over 20 years and has slowly but steadily become a staple of many progressive businesses. Simply put, it’s about a company connecting to something outside its walls and holding itself accountable to something larger - something that connects it to the greater good.

At Snagajob, we have adopted The 3 ‘P’s, but with a slight twist. We’ve replaced “Planet” with “Purpose.” This isn't because we don’t care about our planet. As a tech company that’s helping to automate paper intensive process we actually feel pretty good about our role in creating a more verdant planet. It’s because our mission of putting people in the right fit positions so they can maximize their potential and live more fulfilling lives, is truly our higher purpose. As a local business leader, I’d like to share with you how we’ve incorporated the 3 P’s into our business, how they help drive our business forward, and how they can help you.

Profit

Profit happens when a company delivers greater value to its customers than it costs to produce. To grow and remain profitable, a company must be willing to adjust to market demands, no matter how large the shift. For us, this meant taking what was once a desktop-only platform and evolving it to a mobile, on-demand solution that connects workers to employers in just minutes. This did not come without risk. We had to walk away from a large chunk of “easy” revenue and change the way we’ve done business for years in order to position the company to deliver greater value in the future. These changes are paying off. In just two years, we’ve grown our bookings almost 100 percent, seen our monthly unique visitors grow to over 8 million and mobile grow from less than 20 percent to almost 70 percent of our traffic.

People

Since our business revolves around helping companies hire the best employees, it’s important we lead by example. Our corporate core values of “Collaboration, Accountability and Passion” create an environment where employees can maximize their own potential. The result? A high functioning environment that contributes to all aspects of the company. Here’s how we do it:

1) Commit to building culture. If you want to build a sustainable brand, your culture must be a priority. Make your main objective one of generating the well-being of the customers you serve and your employees.

2) Define your core values. Don’t leave employees guessing what your company’s values are...articulate them. As a leader, write down your personal values and then those you want your company to reflect. How closely do they align? Establish core values that you can embody. Chances are, if you can, your employees will too.

3) Make each person know how they contribute to the larger ideal. For many, working towards a meaningful purpose is more rewarding than simply working for a monetary reward. What is the larger vision and greater purpose you want to promote? Identify it and make sure your employees know it.

4) Create a culture of positive interdependence. Employees that get along are more likely to find common solutions to problems. Think about the environment needed to build meaningful relationships. The output of a fulfilled team will translate into better customer interactions, products and ideas.

5) Build the right team and invest. Use your defined values as filters to hire the best candidates who will not only embrace your culture but also grow it. Once your team is in place, invest in their professional development. Make success possible for everybody. 

Purpose

At Snagajob, we know we can have a large impact on our job seekers’ lives. It’s more than just getting them a job application- it’s helping them make a living and to live more fulfilling lives. We accomplish this by providing them with resources before and after they’ve been hired to help them navigate their careers. We have the opportunity to help lift them to new heights and encourage them to dream big.

One of the ways we reinforce this is by ending every company meeting (we call them townhalls) by reading a job seeker testimonial to remind us of the impact we have on millions of people every month.

Not only does sharing these stories help with motivation, it also drives retention and referrals. In fact, 77 percent of employees said that part of the reason they chose their current employer is because of the company’s sense of purpose. The fact that in 2015 we hired over 100 people in Virginia is a validation of this and a great source of pride.

We feel our approach to the Triple Bottom Line has created a sustainable business model and I feel confident that in the future all businesses will need to embrace the model in order to survive and thrive. If you’ve not already done so I hope this description has encouraged you to take a hard look at your mission and your values and examine them to see how they can positively reinforce each other, build a virtual cycle and help create a positive difference in the world. 

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