At Righteous, people have been number one—since day one. The company’s founder James Boettcher knew that taking the approach of treating others as you would like to be treated as a corporate culture would differentiate them and serve as the foundation for their success. So, they set out to create an amazing workplace for all. One where everyone is valued, heard, inspired, and encouraged to bring their full selves to work.
From humble beginnings in the midst of a recession in 2009, Righteous burst onto the scene with an insatiable hunger to change the way companies look, act and treat their people. Born with a desire to create something that makes the world more awesome, this company has gone from strength to strength over the last 12 years, proving time and time again that they are more than worthy of the accolades that celebrate their multi-award winning culture. Being Great Place to Work-Certified for 3 years in a row and appearing on 10+ Best Workplaces lists is a testament to strength of this team.
While Righteous is an incredibly diverse organization, it’s purpose and values (called virtues at Righteous) are shared. They guide every decision that the people here make. With a mission to ‘enrich people’s lives one tiny spoonful at a time’, it’s not surprising to see the company making a lasting impression in the minds of consumers (fans) and team members. What’s more, Righteous Gelato’s core virtues of quality, integrity and putting people first are so ingrained in all of the actions of the company that ‘people before profit’ is not just a mantra to them, it’s a way of life. After all, the team here has built a great culture, a world-class product and stewards’ other companies to help create a better world. And in return for this, anyone who works at Righteous gets the opportunity to own a piece of this progressive company through an employee share matching plan, as well as profit sharing!
At Righteous, they’ve created a space that invites team members to add to their culture by sharing perspectives, skills, experiences, stories and favorite things. At the heart of their people-first culture is the ability to nurture genuine connection with one another and empower employees to truly be seen by bringing their whole selves to work. It’s not always easy for individuals to show up this way, especially at work but Righteous leads the way when it comes to fostering an open and safe environment that encourages everyone to come as they are.
“Culture is not something you do, it’s who you are” says James Boettcher, Custodian of Culture & CEO at Righteous Gelato. “ When I started out, all I knew about business was knowing that simply treating others how I wanted to be treated would mean that decisions would come naturally. We spend more than a third of our lives working, so why can’t it be enjoyable and rewarding. Choosing to put people and purpose above all else and be committed to serve our community with impact are simple choices when your culture is rooted in fostering an environment of empowerment, innovation, forward thinking, passion, and the legendary customer experience. We choose to do things differently, think differently and challenge the norm because We want people to be the best versions of themselves and create a space for that to happen in all aspects of their lives.”
Setting Them Up for Success
With a team of talented, driven and motivated individuals, Righteous knows their greatest asset is their people and their physical and emotional well-being takes priority above all. Recognizing that pausing and time for reflection is cardinal to powering a high-performing team, the company is committed to cultivating a mindful workplace to improve health, happiness and job satisfaction, while decreasing stress and stimulating creativity and innovation. To help employees thrive, they’ve introduced weekly yoga sessions, coffee dates, game days and beverage – o’clock hangouts to unwind and restore balance. They also offer Unlimited Vacation to full time team members after one year.
A hallmark of a great workplace is one where employees know their time, energy and efforts are noticed and rewarded. At Righteous Gelato, employees are met with a culture of ownership and transparency that encourages them to achieve things they didn’t think possible. Woven into the fabric of this culture is ample opportunity to take an idea and run with it, knowing that autonomy and ingenuity is celebrated, regardless of the outcome. Recognizing the contributions employees have made to get the company to where it is today is a pillar of the people-first culture at play here. While recognition is a year-round activity at Righteous Gelato, they make a special effort to commemorate their MVP’s every quarter to show how valued they are. As well, every year, Core Virtues awards are presented to the team members who exemplify each of them, and they are nominated by their peers.
Evolving with The Team
As a company in a high-growth phase with plans to expand across North America, Righteous Gelato knows that talent development is vital to sustainable business growth and success. Prioritizing personal development is one of the ways this company is ensuring team members’ skills continue to evolve in a highly competitive marketplace. Their robust training and development program empowers the team to learn new skills for their roles with self-selected courses that are funded by the company. This approach shows employees that they value the path towards success and achievement, not just the end result. This culture of learning is what drives Righteous Gelato to advance, adapt, and stay relevant.
Amy Hosking, QA & Regulatory Lead and Wellness Champion shares "You get to carve out your own career path at Righteous. By taking advantage of the development opportunities, you get to build a role where you love what you do every day.”
Bettering the Community
At Righteous Gelato, they’re passionate about community. They do this by reinvesting 1% of their total profits back into their local communities. Since the company’s inception they’ve been zealous advocates in areas like living wage, affordable housing, poverty reduction, ending domestic violence, waste reduction and food insecurity to name a few. As a group of socially and environmentally conscious people, the respect and care they demonstrate towards people and the planet is just another reason to add them to top of your dream employer list.
The Bottom Line
Creating a people-first culture is like DNA and it takes time, dedication, and resources. There are no shortcuts or handouts. But by putting in the work to create an authentic people-first culture – from the employee experience to the decision-making process – you’ll build a company that cares about its people and a business model that helps you can be proud of, just like Righteous Gelato.