Throughout the year New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility collects "Just One Thing" stories of sustainability initiatives from across the state, in the areas of community, environment and workplace. These leading efforts are then showcased as part of NHBSR's Sustainability Slam in the fall. Last year MegaFood won NHBSR's 2018 Sustainability Slam for its innovative workplace initiatives.
MegaFood is a wholefood supplement company that was founded in New Hampshire in 1973. MegaFood's motto of Nutrition with Ambition™ is especially apt for a company that leads with world changing models, creating healthy wholefood supplements through processes that regenerate both the land and our local communities. As a certified B Corp, MegaFood is considered a world leader in sustainable business practices. Moreover, the company strives to amplify their positive impact year after year.
B Corp certification is granted to companies that uphold the highest standards for social and environmental impact and accountability and was always a very natural fit for MegaFood. As part of the process of completing the B Corp Business Impact Assessment, MegaFood evaluated its employee payment structure through a living wage lens. Calculated based on geography, living wage is a standard metric published each year by research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It incorporates the cost of living in an area with the wage an employee would need to make to cover basic needs. MegaFood's Just One Thing story at NHBSR's Sustainability Slam last fall shared how the company raised wages for employees to ensure all were making a good living wage.
Through reviewing its employee compensation structure, MegaFood initially discovered that, compared to other similarly sized manufacturers, they ranked highly in the percentage of employees paid a single living wage. But the wholefood supplement manufacturer didn't stop there. Wanting to do even better for their employees, MegaFood made a commitment to pay all of its employees an even better living wage, a model they continue to evaluate and strive to improve. Just recently, the wholefood supplement manufacturer committed to paying all employees at least 25% above the single living wage to a thriving wage.
Such a sweeping, company-wide effort might sound daunting and complicated, but Ashley LaRochelle, MegaFood’s Director of Vision Activation, says, “Our amazing People team crunched the numbers, explained the shared value, and made final recommendations to our Executive team. We were able to implement changes within a year! The jump to living wage and then to thriving wage was only a bit of a challenge the first year. After that, these people processes for assessing employee compensation and making sure it continues to be the best that we can do each year just became standard.”
The impact on the lives of employees was immense. MegaFood employees themselves proudly took to the stage at NHBSR's Sustainability Slam, and spoke about not only being better able to afford things like childcare, continued education, healthcare, and home ownership, but also be able to build up a savings and for retirement. Paying employees well is characteristic of MegaFood's broader compensation package, which includes 12 weeks of primary and 6 weeks of secondary caregiver leave, paid medical family leave, extensive healthcare coverage, and paid volunteer hours. Raising wages for employees had the indirect benefit of helping MegaFood with recruitment and retention in a highly competitive manufacturing field, a win-win all around that shows just how much a company thrives when its people do.
Connect with Ashley and learn more about MegaFood at the NHBSR Sustainability Slam on November 7, 2019. You can register now at nhbsr.org/JOT.
Watch Megafood's winning Just One Thing story video here.
Register for the Sustainabilty Slam here.
Photo Credits: John Benford Photography