'Best For the World' Volume 3: Spotlight on Governance

Jul 25, 2018


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In the third and final blog in our series about the policies that led to our recent recognition as among the Best For the World, we’ll examine governance. What does that mean? Well, it’s all about the ethics that guide how our agency runs. A Certified B Corp since 2011 and Idaho’s first public benefit corporation, business operates differently at Oliver Russell, and we’re pretty darn proud of that.  

Governance at Oliver Russell is rooted in transparency and collaboration, core values around here.

“The transparency here is unique because at any time, an employee can ask a question about the financials, and it will be discussed,” explained finance manager Jenai Jasper. “Many companies wait until the quarter or the year ends to publish financial information, so employees and shareholders or investors learn about profit and losses at the same time.”

By contrast, agency president and founder Russ Stoddard opens the books every Monday morning during staff meeting. The entire team can see how the client pipeline is looking, discuss business development priorities, and compare actual revenue and projected revenue with the previous month and year.

“Oliver Russell’s commitment to transparency demonstrates that it has nothing to hide from its employees and also is aimed to aid the employees in seeing their direct impact on the company’s successes,” said Jenai. 

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Transparency also factors into the company’s annual sustainability report.

“We’re transparent about the social, environmental, and ethical impact the agency is making in the Boise community and beyond,” Russ said. “That’s why we share employee commuting decisions (and tout the amount we donate each time one of us uses alternative transportation) and are open about which vendors we partner with for our own B2B needs.”

Another policy that makes Oliver Russell stand out from other businesses, especially advertising agencies, is our commitment to 10% profit-sharing equally between full and part time employees.

“We believe everyone contributes to the company’s profits, and being a progressive company, we believe all employees should participate in and be rewarded for our success,” said Russ.

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Last but not least, Oliver Russell measures internal satisfaction each year through a survey practice that’s been in place since 1998 (with the exception of 2000 when the Internet bubble burst and the economy tanked, and again in 2013 due to employee restructuring). It’s designed to see how employees feel the company measures up to its core values: being creative, progressive, collaborative and socially responsible.

“We take those survey results to heart, and it informs our policies and workplace culture,” said Russ.