Ted Castle, founder, owner and “Head Cheese” at Rhino Foods, https://www.rhinofoods.com/, has long been an advocate of finding and implementing innovative ways to keep his workforce engaged, healthy, happy, and productive. Though his company is well known for its frozen cookie dough, best tasted in Ben & Jerry’s iconic Cookie Dough ice cream, Rhino Foods has been an industry leader in ways that have been applauded not just in Vermont, but nationwide.
In 1993, Rhino Foods was faced with the issue of excess staffing brought on by efficiency improvements and the seasonality of the ice cream industry. Ted wasn’t interested in laying off employees. Instead, he turned to his staff to explore creative solutions to reduce the staff while maintaining well-trained employees for the long-term.
Through a series of meetings, the concept of the Employee Exchange Program was born. It is simply an exchange of employees between companies with opposing seasonal business cycles. The benefits to the companies are avoidance of seasonal layoffs, retention of well-trained staff and increased employee morale. This program was so well received that it was featured on network news channels.
Then, Rhino Foods became a Certified B Corp to support the company’s purpose: to impact the manner in which business is done. Being part of an expanding global community of companies working to be profitable, while positively impacting employees and their community, gives you an incredible resource to be better at every aspect of your business.
And for the last dozen years, the company has brought about a whole new dimension of ensuring that its workers can benefit from workplace practices that provide an opportunity for financial security. The Rhino Foods Foundation has created and is now working to spread the incredible Income Advance Program. Here is a link to provide further information on the program and which further describes how companies, both big and small, can establish long-term people-centered initiatives that benefit the employees and employers alike. https://www.rhinofoodsfoundation.org/