YIKES Adds Election Day as Company Holiday

By Mia Levesque

October 5, 2016

After 20 Years in business, why not add a new holiday?

B the change It would be next to impossible to ignore the upcoming US Presidential election, but as business owners, Tracy and I both believe that business and politics should not mix. YIKES makes donations and offers in-kind services on a regular basis but not to political organizations or candidates.

That being said, we have always strongly encouraged our employees to vote, allowing people to do whatever it takes to make sure they exercise this very important constitutional right. Recently while thinking about the efforts to improve the voting process and make Election Day a national holiday, I realized as business owners, we could change our policy today!

We believe access to voting directly impacts communities. As a Certified B Corporation and PA Benefit Corporation, we incorporate into our mission the well being of people. The more people who vote, the better represented our local communities and our country.

Adding Election Day as a paid holiday allows everyone at YIKES the opportunity to vote. It also gives people time to volunteer on Election day – work at the polls, assist people who need help getting to their polling location.

We hope other businesses will join us in supporting #ElectionDayHoliday!

For more resources on voter registration, deadlines and rules, check out Vote.org, an excellent, non-partisan voter information portal that uses technology to increase voter participation.

Finally, I can’t resist ending this post with one the foundations of my education on the civic responsibility of voting.

Learn more about our sustainability efforts and B Corporation Certification.

YIKES Again Honored as Best for World – Workers

By Mia Levesque

September 9, 2016

Creating Most Overall Positive Employee Impact as Evaluated by Comprehensive B Impact Assessment

On September 8, 2016, YIKES, Inc. was once again recognized for creating the most positive overall community impact by B the Change Media based on an independent, comprehensive assessment administered by the independent nonprofit B Lab. YIKES is honored in the Best for the World Workers List, which includes businesses that earned a Workers score in the top 10 percent of more than 1,800 Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment. The full assessment measures a company’s impact on its workers, community, customers and the environment. The 124 winning companies in the Workers category come from 14 industries and 15 countries.

bcorp_logoYIKES would like to congratulate all the other honorees. View the entire list and see how companies are making positive changes through business.

The Workers portion of the B Impact Assessment assesses the company’s relationship with its workforce. It measures how the company treats its workers through compensation, benefits, training and ownership opportunities provided to workers. The category focuses on the overall work environment within the company through management/worker communication, job flexibility, corporate culture and worker health and safety practices. Honorees scoring in the top 10 percent set a gold standard for the high impact that business as a force for good can make on employees around the world.

Honorees are featured in the upcoming fall issue of B Magazine and on B the Change’s digital platform, bthechange.com.

Learn more about YIKES sustainability mission, including our B Corporation certification and our commitment as a Pennsylvania Benefit Corporation.

B the Change Media was formed as a partnership between B Lab, the community of B Corporations, and Bryan Welch, former CEO of Ogden Publications (B Corp since 2010). B the Change Media is a multiplatform media company whose mission is to build the world’s largest engaged audience of people with a passion for using business as a force for good. B the Change Media has editorial and operating independence and covers compelling stories about business as a force for good, not just stories about B Corporations. B the Change Media has independent investors and is a subsidiary of B Lab, the nonprofit organization that administers the Impact Assessment and aggregates the B Corporation community. B the Change Media is a Pending B Corporation.

B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good.  Its vision is that one day all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world and society will enjoy prosperity for all for the long term.

B Lab drives this systemic change by: 1) building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between “good companies” and good marketing; 2) passing benefit corporation legislation to give business leaders the freedom to create value for society as well as shareholders; 3) helping businesses measure, compare and improve their social and environmental performance with the free B Impact Assessment; 4) driving capital to impact investments through use of its B Analytics and GIIRS Ratings platform.

For more information, visit www.bcorporation.net.

YIKES Receives B Corporation Recertification

By Mia Levesque

March 14, 2016

As YIKES celebrates our 20th anniversary this year, we are honored to announce our successful recertification as a B Corporation. Since 2010 we have been committed to the ideals that the businesses have the power to make the world better.

Since 1996 our goal as a company has always been to build a company that balances the importance of community, environment, transparency, accountability, and excellence.  We believe that this balance, and not just bottom-line, is what makes a successful business.

As a Certified B Corporation AND a PA Benefit Corporation, we are grateful to be a part of a growing community of like-minded businesses dedicated to social change and to redefining what success means for business.

We recognize the potential to participate in creating a way for businesses to leave a positive environmental footprint and are excited to be a part of an international movement toward responsibility and sustainable practices. Becoming a B Corporation further solidifies YIKES, Inc. position in the marketplace as an socially-conscious organization.

Certification is a rigorous process, and we are proud to once again measured up. We encourage people to learn more about B Corporations.

YIKES Makes Annual Best in the World for Workers List

By Mia Levesque

April 21, 2015

YIKES has been recognized as a great place to work with a spot on the third annual Best in the World for Workers list. See our score and learn more about the other honorees; we are in great company.

A business is more than a building, a service, or a product. A business is made up of people, and treating those people right is a crucial part of doing business the right way. That’s why we are proud to lead our fellow B Corps in working to create a better life for our employees as a 2015 Best for Workers honoree.

How are we Best for the Environment? We earned a worker impact score in the top 10% of all Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment, a comprehensive assessment of a company’s impact on workers, the community and the environment. Every day, along with our fellow honorees, we are taking the lead in providing comprehensive benefits and wellness programs, paying living wages, and creating opportunities for employee ownership.

We take pride in smart, effective, creative web solutions, but that pride would be misplaced if we weren’t first and foremost focusing on the people who make it possible: our team. That’s one of the reasons we became a B Corp in the first place.

As a B Corp, we’re leading a global movement to redefine success in business so one day all companies compete to be not only the best in the world, but best for the world. We join over 1,200 other companies committed to using business as a force for good.

Check them all out at bcorporation.net.


The Personal Side of Working for a Benefit Corporation

By Mia Levesque

May 23, 2014

Paul Andre LevesqueOn Saturday, May 3, 2014, my father had a massive stroke. My parents live about 375 miles away. My four siblings and I are scattered throughout the East coast. We all arrived Saturday or Sunday, to be by his side as he entered his hospice journey. When my father took his last breath on May 9, 2014, I was able to be by his side, fully present. I was able to stay and help my mother cope with her enormous loss. I had the support of my family as we all gathered to grieve.

Recently much as been written on B or Benefit Corporations and the concept to of ROWE (Results-Only Work Environment). I am fortunate to co-own and work for such a company — YIKES, Inc., a web design and development company in Philadelphia.

YIKES started in 1996 with the concept of creating a company that the three co-founders would want to work for. This led to the realization that we were what was becoming called “a sustainable business.” Joining the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia in 2003, we found like-minded business who adhere to the triple-bottom line of People, Planet, Profit. YIKES even won a Triple Bottom Line award in 2005.

In 2010, we became a Certified B Corporation. Being a B Corporation allows us to share our philosophy of the power of business to do good, to change the world for the better. YIKES, Inc. has an excellent reputation for conducting its business activities with integrity, fairness, and in accordance with the highest ethical standards. In 2013 YIKES, Inc. was among the first companies to become a Pennsylvania Benefit Corporation, furthering our commitment. YIKES, Inc. was just recertified as B Corporation in March, 2014. But anyone can learn more about B Corporations online.

What I want to talk about is what has this has meant to me over the past 3 weeks. As I sit here on my final day before I return to work, I want to acknowledge mostly my co-workers who are so competent and compassionate that I could do what I needed to do, which was to be with my father, my mother, and all my siblings. That our families where together to say goodbye, to honor my father with a dignified death and funeral, to give each other the support we needed.

When I go back to work tomorrow, I will check in with all my clients who are are very important as well. They are not just the lifeline of our business, but many are long-term colleagues from our many years in business. I know that there may have been bumps and disruptions in the projects I manage, as my co-workers stepped in without any foresight or planning, which is possible when one takes a vacation but not in an emergency situation.

I end this with the hope that this concept of life-work balance continues to become the norm. That more workers won’t have to make hard choices about work over people, adding stress to one of the most difficult times we humans face — the loss of someone we love. In my sadness and grief, I know that when I remember this time, it will be without regret because people do come first. I had the support to make this happen. I will carry a deep gratitude to all those who gave me this gift. It is not one that enough American workers get, but one that I believe, as a business owner, is possible.

Paul Andre Levesque