Success Rehabilitation: The B Corp Improving Inclusion

‘Success Rehabilitation’ B Corp Builds Outreach to Attract New Workers and Raise Awareness of Brain Injury

Success Rehabilitation is a post-acute rehabilitation provider specializing in acquired and traumatic brain injury. Located in the greater Philadelphia area, individuals nationwide choose to participate in residential and outpatient brain injury treatment programs at Success Rehabilitation. Since its founding in 1990, this Pennsylvania B Corp has grown to more than 230 employees, including 35 therapeutic specialists.

For Success Rehabilitation, becoming a Certified B Corporation initially looked to be making official what it already was doing, in many ways, since the company was founded in 1990. As a rehabilitation service provider for individuals with traumatic brain injury, Success Rehabilitation inherently operates as an impact company.

“We already were living the values,” says Kevin Tangney, director of marketing and social impact. “If the foundation of the company wasn’t already in that social mindset, it would’ve been more difficult. … It was a real opportunity to get that seal of approval for our team and partners.”

But in many ways, becoming a B Corp in 2019 was just the beginning of the work at Success Rehabilitation, where Tangney and other workers are building on the company’s foundational values.

In the photo: As part of its work to build a more inclusive business, Success Rehabilitation hosts community events. Last year Middletown Township (Bucks County) Police Officer Melissa Robison met with clients to discuss how to prevent confrontations between armed officers and individuals with disabilities. Photo Credit: B Corps.

Ronnie Pozzi, a corporate liaison at Success Rehabilitation, has been with the company for 16 years. While she wasn’t familiar with B Corps until Tangney introduced and explained the certification, she saw it as a natural fit for the company.

“We’ve always had open-door policies, aimed to make it the best place to work, and done what it takes to help staff perform better, because that’s better for everybody,” she says.

But, as the team has discovered, creating real change takes more than policies and words. In October 2019, Success Rehabilitation celebrated its B Corp certification with an event that included Ellonda Green, B Lab’s director of equity, diversity and inclusion. During the day’s events, Pozzi and others at Success Rehabilitation discussed their programs and goals with Green.

“We said, ‘We are diverse.’ And she said, ‘How do you know?’” Pozzi recalls. “That was eye-opening.”

Those four words — simple alone, complex together — served as an aha! moment for the Success Rehabilitation team.

As Tangney says, “We recognized that we have so much growth to do in this area, in terms of bringing in more folks and championing values and belief systems. That was the fundamental thought: ‘Oh wow, we can be doing so much more, we just need to be educated on the best route to take.’ There was an understanding around the table that we need to be better; we can be better.”

Success Rehabilitation has a strong foundation of inclusion and diversity efforts to build upon as a social impact company, Pozzi says. Using surveys and seeking opinions from employees, both new and long-standing, served as the foundation for much of the ongoing work at Success Rehabilitation.

One example is a survey that new employees take after 90 days on the job with questions about diversity, respect and inclusion, with an opportunity to share more of their thoughts in a narrative. The survey has generated valuable feedback, she says, for the company’s onboarding and engagement committee that was launched in 2017.

“Our goal with the committee is to make staff feel comfortable and create a very inclusive organization,” she says. “One aspect of that is community outreach, to teach others more about brain injury awareness. Through recruitment, we can fulfill two purposes: attract staff and educate people.”

In the photo: As part of its community outreach, Success Rehabilitation teamed with Athleta for a wellness event last year that included a panel discussion. Photo Credit: B Corps.

By launching outreach programs at community colleges, high schools and tech schools in area communities, Pozzi says Success Rehabilitation has been able to increase its staff diversity and build a strong, mission-driven team.

“A majority of our hires are self-referrals, from people inside our organization,” she says “We’re very proud of that because it means people think it’s a good place to work.”

That includes creating an atmosphere where all workers feel safe to voice any concerns at a workplace that values open communication and involving more employees in programming and goal setting.

“Diversity can be something that pushes people apart rather than keeping them together,” Pozzi says. “The past three years we’ve done a lot to help the staff feel empowered. With that, the diversity piece goes hand in hand.”

Two newly formed B Corp employee committees, on community and environment, now serve as a sounding board on ideas for improvement. And through quarterly staff focus groups, Pozzi says Success Rehabilitation provides an opportunity for open employee discussions on issues that affect the work environment, including company culture.

“Out of these discussions we’ve had the opportunity to talk with many others,” she says “It empowers people. One might’ve been here six months the other would’ve been there about six years.”

Developing Ongoing Programs for Longtime Employees

Providing continued training for workers with a range of experience and tenure levels can be a challenge, and that’s a point of emphasis for Erica Devery, assistant director of neuro rehab services, who has been at Success Rehabilitation for 15 years. As a longtime employee, she sees the need for continued training for all workers on important topics like diversity and inclusion.

In the photo: Success Rehabilitation offers programs designed to promote inclusion and diversity, including a nondenominational chaplain available for clients and staff and a mentor program that pairs new staff with another employee, based on work location. Recent staff events included a tour of fellow Pennsylvania B Corp One Village Coffee. Photo Credit: B Corps.

“One thing we’ve talked about is as much as we focus on inclusion and diversity with the new employees, how are we continuing to do that year after year, month after month — how are we keeping that fresh? It’s important to lay that foundation to go throughout their time here,” she says. “We have a lot of long-term employees. The biggest thing is to keep that open mind and be willing to make changes and know that they are changes for the better. That journey and process is not going to go anywhere if we’re not open-minded and honest.”

Success Rehabilitation has turned to several B Lab resources during and after certification, including a diversity survey from fellow B Corp Culture Amp and the B Impact Assessment. These tools are useful for helping set goals and measure progress, Devery says, and serve as a way to communicate with workers on progress toward the B Corp’s goals.

“It’s important to set your goals and measure your progress,” Devery says. “We did the Culture Amp survey as a starting point and now are reviewing that piece by piece. We want to continue to measure our progress by doing future surveys, not just the one and done. It’s important to keep that communication going: Here’s what we’re working on, but we still need to improve this.”

B Corp certification now serves as a point of pride and a motivation for improvement — with regards to inclusion and beyond — for all workers at Success Rehabilitation.

“It definitely starts from the top by educating your leaders and changing the environment,” Devery says. “The mission, vision, values are implemented from an executive standpoint and trickle down to clients we serve. It’s not just the staff, it’s everyone here within our Success community.”

For Tangney, becoming a B Corp means continually working to provide the best work environment for all team numbers so Success Rehabilitation employs and serves a broad mix of individuals.

“This is a journey, and you have to be honest of where you are and look at it as a real growth opportunity,” Tangney says. “That requires us to go out and hear from folks who are immersed in this day to day work and understand the organizational principles behind it — it’s really helpful to bring that back to the team. We’re always working on how to get better in everything we do. It’s a real opportunity for us.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of Photo Credit: B Corp.

About the Author /

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.

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