A few months ago, Switchbox decided to apply for this year’s BBB Torch Awards. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Torch Awards are put on by the Better Business Bureau annually as a way to evaluate and award businesses for having high standing ethical practices. The BBB awards in four categories which is depicted by the amount of employees working per each organization.
The main portion of the application was broken down into six criteria that called for us to explain and articulate how our own business complies with each ethical practice. The criteria included: Leadership commitment to ethical practices, communications of ethical practices, organizational commitment to ethical practice, organizational commitment to performance management practices, organizational commitment to ethical human resource practices and organizational commitment to the community. When all of these were first introduced to us, I think we all sincerely believed Switchbox fit positively into each criterion. It seemed like an easy task at the time, articulating our company’s ethical practices. However, we soon realized that we gravely underestimated just how much time and work this particular application was going to take as well as how much we would learn from the experience of applying.
We began brainstorming, asking ourselves how does our company comply with these ethical practices? How can we prove them and in what areas can we do things better? The application process began to take on a whole new meaning. We closely examined the company from an ethical perspective and by doing so we were able to learn a lot about our company. For our answer to Criteria 1 “Leadership Commitment to Ethical Practices”, our president Joel Stephens wrote: This application process has forced me to evaluate not just the documents, but how we have been using them for the last few years. It’s forced me to have some honest conversations with our staff and shift the question from, “what do we have?” to “how are we using this?”
To us, the application process was a learning experience and because of this we believe our company is better off for having applied. This process in itself proved to be a true testament of Switchbox’s ethical code. Proving, this company strives to do things the right way, accepting we have room to grow and allowing change in order to do so. It is a tremendous honor to be chosen as one of the Torch Award winners. We spent a sincere amount of time organizing, planning and executing this application and are grateful that our hard work paid off. However, we are mainly honored to be part of a growing business that truly makes ethical decisions and runs its organization under practices that affect its community and team for the better.
A big thank you to the Better Business Bureau for this great honor!