On the Importance of Being Conscious


“If you create a great place to work, great work takes place.”

Ben Peterson, CEO, BambooHR

To this day, a shocking number of big and small companies alike not only pay poor wages but maintain appalling work conditions and low ethical standards, disregarding their workers’ human rights (You know who you are!)

Meanwhile, tons of studies affirm the benefits of a flexible work schedule on employee well-being, while reducing the negative aspects they bring home to their families [1].

Still more studies show how implementing work-family friendly policies further enhances employees’ well-being [2] and how a supportive supervisor helps mitigate stress for employees [3]. But some companies still operate unconsciously, not willing to wake up to the benefits of a conscious workplace culture.

Becoming Conscious

But there is hope! More and more organizations are emerging that advocate for building conscious businesses like Conscious Culture Group and Conscious.org – “a rising generation of founders and leaders who question the status quo and fundamentally believe that a Conscious Culture, one that bridges humanity with execution, is possible.”

As a Conscious Company, Grokability took the Conscious Culture pledge and enthusiastically committed to:

  1. Putting the team’s health and well-being first.
  2. Keeping standards for execution high, but fair.
  3. Giving feedback frequently, consistently, and candidly.
  4. Treating time with the company as one moment in a thriving career.
  5. Making culture deliberate—and not accidental or afterthought.
  6. Inviting all members of the team to embrace the mentality of a founder – which means giving them the ability to speak up, make decisions, and move forward.
  7. Making work hours count in order to not have to count work hours.
  8. Encouraging personality, fun, self-care, and a personal life—and not treating these as “sacrifices” to the altar of overwork.
  9. Welcoming people of all personalities, backgrounds, beliefs, and philosophies.
  10. Caring deeply about impact—both in what the company does for the world, and what it does for its people.

A new breed of businesses, B-Corporations, takes this commitment a step further.

Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good.”

Certified B Corporation

Our founder and CEO, Alison Gianotto, long ago stated that she built the company that she had always wanted to work for, so taking this conscious culture pledge didn’t involve changing any of our already existing polices, but rather formally pledging our commitment to these practices.

Making it official

Why formally pledge to create conscious practices in your business? In a word, accountability. As a business leader the importance of accountability should not be understated – accountability to yourself, to your employees, and to your community.

Each team member of Grokability embraces this principle which leads to less conflict and frustration among team members, in addition to outstanding customer service and increased productivity because the typical blame game, which we see too often in exchanges where something goes awry, vanishes when everyone involved openly recognizes their role in the situation. With that authenticity, tensions naturally dissolve.

In our effort to formally hold ourselves accountable, we’ve revamped our 360-review process to ensure that we’re holding true to the tenets of the conscious culture pledge.

As an added benefit, cultivating a conscious culture attracts talent. Our newest team member, Support Engineer, Osei Owusu, has this to say about his decision to leave his large corporate job to join our team:

Grokability’s commitment to culture, community and the well-being of each team member propelled me to join this amazing company.

Osei Owusu, Support Engineer at Grokability, Inc.

Accountability has such far-reaching effects, impacting our individual employees, the team as a whole, and the business itself. As a growing business with a small, but dedicated, team, time is often in short supply, but the time we’ve spent encouraging accountability and adhering to conscious culture principles, has been one of the most powerful things we’ve done to ensure Grokability’s success now and into the future.

We’re so committed to accountability and transparency here that we’ve also joined the Baremetrics Open Startups program, which provides an (anonymized) look into our subscription income that’s available to everyone at any time.

Moving forward

We encourage you to take a look at your own company culture and consider pledging to build a conscious company, to inspire change, and to encourage accountability. Be part of a growing movement, adhering to the highest ethical business and employee related standards, not only for your own company, but consider securing a Vendor Code of Conduct with your suppliers as well. Learn more about the stages of Conscious Culture Development to determine what stage your company is in and how you can strive for continuous improvement in your company culture.

Perhaps there may always be companies that focus only on share holders’ earnings, at the expense of their workers, but it is clear there is a sea change brewing among up-and-coming companies. Not only are we able to sleep better at night knowing that our company and our team is a force of positivity in the world, but day after day, we make the day to day of work life worthy of our time, energy, and effort. And in the end, that’s what it’s all about.

  1. Moen P, Kelly EL, Tranby E, Huang Q. Changing work, changing health: can real work-time flexibility promote health behaviors and well-being? J Health Soc Behav. 2011 Dec; 52(4):404-29.
  2. Williams JC. Reshaping the Work-Family Debate: Why Men and Class Matter. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; 2010.
  3. Kirmeyer SL, Dougherty TW. Work Load, Tension, and Coping: Moderating Effects of Supervisor Support. Personnel Psychology. 1988;41(1):125–139.

About the author

Victoria Pak

Victoria has the proud distinction of being Grokability's first hire. She now serves as Grokability's Chief Operations Officer. Her background is in the academic and non-profit sectors, primarily instruction and training, educational technology, educational administration, and non-profit operations.

By Victoria Pak

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