There may be no more powerful image than of a parent nurturing a child. That vision fills every nook and cranny of Motherlove, the Colorado-based company that makes herbal care products for pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. CEO Silencia Cox jokes that she’s been working with Motherlove since her conception. Her mother, Kathryn Higgins, started Motherlove when pregnant with Cox in 1987.
“She created a company with nurturing infused in everything that we do,” said Cox. “Every day we look to build connections and pull our teams together.” Profit, of course, is essential to Motherlove’s survival. But so too is the caring for and retention of employees who keep the wheels turning. For example, a team at Motherlove is charged with creating policies and programs that focus on employees’ wellness, health and culture. From quarterly team-building events to financial transparency at monthly staff meetings, Motherlove highlights each employee’s impact on the company’s profitability. Sales reflect growth in the marketplace, but also underscore that the certified B Corporation’s goals of sustainability and social wellbeing are successful. Cox maintains that the company’s bonus program — a profit-sharing model paid out as a percentage of salary — links employees to the mission by celebrating everyone’s contributions. Furthermore, all employees receive $750 per year toward professional development opportunities, allowing them to advance in their positions and careers.
Cox describes a few ways the company helpsits employees avoid burnout and reward hard work. Paid breaks in addition to state-mandated time reduce the work week to 36 hours from 40. Flextime allows staff to work from home on occasion and to enjoy flexible schedules. To prove their mission matters, employees earn one hour of paid time off for every two hours of volunteer work in the community.
Retention of people is important, particularly in areas where employees are in high demand. “Unemployment is less than two percent in Fort Collins,” said Cox. “We’re always learning about what other companies are doing and discovering new ideas from within.”
Currently, Motherlove is exploring ways to provide more inclusive childcare, a cornerstone of the brand. While Cox describes a generous parental leave policy for new mothers and fathers, she wants to offer onsite childcare.
“Childcare costs are forcing families to make tough choices,” she said. “With our mission, we could really improve the lives of our employees not just financially as they build their families, but by providing parents a connection to their child throughout the day so they don’t miss big moments like their first steps.”
She imagines opportunities for a parent to eat lunch with their child or pop in during a 15-minute break to say hello. Cox thinks onsite childcare would provide staff with an immeasurable emotional benefit during the work day.
Despite the challenges of figuring out how to make this program or an alternative plan work, Cox thinks Motherlove must avoid making employees choose between their careers and their families.
“It’s not just about creating more satisfaction for staff,” said Cox. “It meets our vision of how we raise our future generation. We’re building a stronger community and that is one of our core values.”
Motherlove’s caring environment shows its people that they’re supported and prioritized — values that start with the employees making its products and end at the customer’s home.