Vivobarefoot: A B-Corp Transformation Journey

Read on to find out how we helped Vivo achieve the following results:

- eNPS score + 52

- Happiness Score + 26%

- 2021 saw £935k profit, up 27% on last year and 18% up on the previous best.

The Challenge

Vivobarefoot are on a journey to transform their company. Vivo is working to become a regenerative business, to ensure that this becomes enshrined in their DNA they set out to become a certified B Corporation. A B-Corp company is one which uses profits and growth as a means to a greater end: positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment. For the organisation as a whole, this means creating a net positive impact on people and the planet through their company, products and services, their people and their value chain.

For the people team this meant working towards an organisational restructure, implementing cultural change and a new people strategy. With all this change, it was vital for Vivo to be able to keep a pulse on how their people are feeling and what they need to thrive. They needed to listen to their people to understand what they had to stop, start, and continue doing to ensure their people were happy and engaged.

The Solution

Vivobarefoot began working with The Happiness Index in 2019 to build an employee listening strategy to help them measure their current cultural health. They also needed vital insight to develop a new people strategy. Their Happiness Index score in January 2020 was what they term “shamefully low”. This gave them a big wake up call.

Our platform enabled them to identify internal opportunities for growth, and set in motion new ways of thinking. Valentina explains: “Our Happiness Index data showed there were many areas we could improve on to reach our goal of continuously improving the health and well-being of our employees.”

Vivo has particularly benefited from our Employee Voice tool. Collecting anonymous feedback on the large-scale changes that have been made within the organisation has meant that Valentina and her team understand what their people are thinking and feeling in real time.

Building on this, Valentina and her team have managed to boost Employee Voice response rates by injecting a little creativity. As well as our standard question asking people to share how they feel, they also pose a more general question via email on a weekly basis. This could be about the product, a recent change, or anything else from around the organisation.

We use an anonymous feedback platform called Employee Voice. A couple of years ago, we were getting loads of negative feedback through that — which is okay, that’s what it’s there for. But now we hardly get any. I don’t think that’s because people have stopped having negative feedback — it’s because we have a culture where people feel safer and comfortable enough to give that feedback face to face — which is just so much better, more regenerative.

- Ashley Pollock | Head of Culture & Transformation

Vivo also used our platform to conduct a deep-dive survey to understand how their people felt about diversity, equity and inclusion in the organisation. This showed that inclusivity and career progression were consistent themes where their people needed them to improve. Again, this provided the people team with the actionable insight they needed to improve these key areas within their organisation.

The Results

The suggested changes from the surveys were embedded throughout the workplace and most importantly, in the culture. The results of the programme Valentina and her team have put into place has been nothing short of extraordinary. You can see this in the data they have collected. Their eNPS has increased from -23 to 29 within two years of working with us.

Happiness has also improved at Vivobarefoot. Since working with us, happiness has seen a rise from 6.1 to 7.7. Vivo saw an 18% improvement in happiness in the first 6 months alone, and an improvement from 7.1 in 2020 to 7.7 in 2021. In 2020 Vivo also succeeded in their ambition of becoming a certified B Corporation.

The Impact

People are buying into the process of change at Vivobarefoot. Team members are no longer afraid to give their feedback, whether that be good or bad. This can be seen in meetings and even within newer and more junior staff. Everyone at Vivo is more willing to share their opinions and ideas with the HR and People team, meaning that everyone has a stake in any change that is happening within the organisation.

The impact the people strategy is having on the company as a whole is clear. In 2020, despite the global pandemic, the company recorded their best ever year: £34.1M in sales, their first listing in Fast Track 100 (100 fastest growing UK companies) and a Profit After Taxation of £735k. This represented a 41% increase in turnover in Europe, 32% for Rest of the World. In 2021, Vivo was able to build on this success with a Profit After Taxation of £935k.

Introducing Valentina:

Valentina is an extrovert, who just loves people, so that’s probably why she loves her job as a People Manager at Vivobarefoot. Her day job sees her managing day to day HR functions as well as larger scale projects such as employee engagement and happiness at Vivo, the DE&I programme, and leadership training and coaching. A true creative, Valentina is also a musician, expressing herself as a singer songwriter. Valentina is happiest when spending time with loved ones, or creating or appreciating music.

Introducing Ashley

Ashley has one of the best job titles we've seen - Head of LiveBarefoot. In practice, this means that she's in charge of Culture, People, Regenerative Leadership & Business Transformation at Vivobarefoot. Her day job unites two of her favourite things - inspiring and holding space for people to be their best selves and outdoor adventures. Said adventures are more likely to be sunny in South Africa where she attended school and university than in the UK where the Vivobarefoot offices are. Ashley is happiest when connecting deeply with people and getting lost in dinner conversations.

Introducing Vivobarefoot:

Founded in 2012 by two seventh-generation cobblers, Galahad and Asher Clark, Vivobarefoot is based on one simple insight - barefoot footwear is sustainable footwear. We’ve been working with Vivo as they continue on their journey as a B Corp, to help them invest in their people as well as the planet!







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