You may have never seen a jar of Hausbeck pickles in the grocery store, but if you have ever eaten at Subway, Dominos, or one of many other quick-service restaurants, you’ve undoubtedly enjoyed them! A family business since 1923, Hausbeck Pickle has been delighting its customers with pickles and pickled peppers, served up with great customer service and high quality—with 100 percent locally grown cucumbers! Tim Hausbeck leads the company that was founded by his grandfather, which employs about 100 purposeful people proudly producing and packaging perfect pickles and pickled peppers in Saginaw, Michigan.
There’s got to be more to the pickle business than just pickles. As the company’s president, Hausbeck knew that as he invited his E-Team to join him at the Conscious Capitalism of the Great Lakes Bay’s introductory event at Saginaw Valley State University in May 2018. At the event they learned about Conscious Capitalism and the concept of lifting humanity through business. Hausbeck Pickles for three generations has had a purpose and a strong moral compass. The company had a vision and mission like most companies, do but after what they heard about Conscious Capitalism, the vision and mission seemed one-dimensional. Hausbeck and his team knew they needed to better define the company’s higher purpose, which is one of the four tenets of Conscious Capitalism.
What It Was Like Before
“I think that all business leaders see that there is more to business than simply gaining wealth. They search for ways to make it bigger than themselves,” says Hausbeck.
Hausbeck Pickles was very active in giving back to the community within the limits of its budget, but without a higher purpose the company was supporting opportunistically, rather than with a plan. The company over the years contributed to dozens of community organizations and causes such as The Saginaw Children’s Zoo, Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum, Child Abuse & Neglect Council of the Great Lakes Bay Region, Saginaw Hunger Solutions Center, City Rescue Mission of Saginaw, and first responder groups like the fire department and the Fraternal Order of Police. It also actively supported the arts through the Saginaw Arts and Enrichment Commission, the Temple Theatre, the Saginaw African Cultural Festival, and many other causes, including youth sports programs. Giving, however, was more a response to specific requests or community campaigns than a result of preplanning.
The company also cared for its employees. With many employees in renting situations with their housing, it helped by lending several employees mortgage money to buy a local home rather than continue to rent. It certainly was caring for its employees, but without a defined plan.
Once Hausbeck heard about Conscious Capitalism through local business relationships, he took immediate action. After the entire executive team attended the first Conscious Capitalism Great Lakes Bay Region (GLBR) Chapter event, the team read the Conscious Capitalism, by Raj Sisodia and John Mackey. Regularly, the team would get together to discuss the book and what they were discovering. Hausbeck knew the importance of including all of the team in understanding and shaping the company’s new vision, mission, and higher purpose.
Knowing that change doesn’t happen unless you make it happen, the team acted further by registering for a GLBR Chapter workshop called “Moving Concepts to Practice,” where they learned to focus and zero-in on their definition of Higher Purpose. The seminar went a long way toward helping the team work together. Additionally, the team took part in Our Community Listens, workshops to improve their communication skills.
Team members each wrote their own versions of a new vision, mission, and higher purpose, and would get together to discuss and improve on each other’s thinking. At one point, the company used internal surveying methods to gain input from every employee. The exercise of learning about Conscious Capitalism, educating and involving the management team, and involving the valuable input of all employees was no simple task and took nearly a year and a half! The effort was taken very seriously and resulted in the company’s changed thinking and bright view of the future. Here are their new Higher Purpose, Mission, and Vision statements:
Hausbeck Pickles & Peppers Purpose
“Elevate our Team Members, Energize our Community, and Enhance our Environment.” Elevate, Energize & Enhance: E to the power of 3!
“To produce and deliver the highest quality food products with enthusiasm and integrity while striving for win-win partnerships with our customers and suppliers.”
“To share the Fun, Flavor & Freedom of our food products with everyone, making the world a tastier place.”
What It’s Like Now?
Armed with a new higher purpose and employees on-board with the company’s direction, Hausbeck Pickles & Peppers is already acting “consciously.” Conscious Capitalism promotes keeping all stakeholder outcomes in mind when making decisions—and the company has been doing just that! Some examples of their conscious thoughts and decisions are:
Elevating Team Members
The company will continue to offer employees fair wages, health care insurance, personal and professional development programs, and, when needed, an emergency loan program. Additionally, they have figured out work-from-home programs and a flextime program that help employees manage the struggle with working and raising families at the same time.
It has offered budgeting classes to its employees in the past, but now that they are thinking consciously, they learned that their insurance provider will provide individualized plans for all employees who want them. That not only elevates the employees and reduces company costs, it also helps the insurance provider deepen its relationship with the company.
Energizing the Community
The list of community agencies and causes that the company has fit into its budget in the past is extensive, and the company will continue to fund as many as it can. But with their conscious thinking, those decisions will include the impact of community investment on employees, customers, and suppliers, and volunteerism is becoming more of a focus. There may be opportunities for several stakeholders to work together to increase the positive impact on the community.
Enhancing the Environment
The company is currently constructing an energy-efficient 80,000-square-feet warehouse on its Saginaw property, to relocate inventory from off-site warehousing. No longer will trucks be needed to carry product back and forth from warehouses, reducing the company’s carbon footprint. Also, the new warehouse is incorporating the latest technology to reduce energy consumption from what is used today.
And their environmental enhancement goes much further than just energy efficient buildings. The company has transitioned from using primarily rigid pail packaging to flexible film pouches, greatly reducing the truckloads of packaging material shipped to their plant. But the company didn’t stop there. By implementing flexible pouch vacuum packaging technology, they can use far less pickle juice and still achieve the same level of quality and taste. That simple technology allows them to ship even more pickles per load and reduce the cost and environmental impact of shipping pickle juice around the country, when it largely goes down the customer’s drain anyway. The company’s new thinking has resulted in benefits to its employees, customers, suppliers, and the environment!
On December 9, 2019, Hausbeck Pickles & Peppers rolled out its new Higher Purpose, Mission, and Vision to all its employees—with help from several members of the Conscious Capitalism GLBR Chapter. Having every team member onboard will allow the company to continue its conscious journey.
Tim Hausbeck, talking about the company’s future, said: “I am just so full of gratitude toward Gene Pickelman, president of Tri-Star Trust Bank and Bob VanDeventer, past president of the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce—among many others—for opening our eyes and introducing Conscious Capitalism to the Great Lakes Bay Region. Now we have a language and a set of rules for our decisionmaking. With every decision, we consider its impact on our employees, our community, customers and suppliers, the environment, and, of course, profitability. Instead of reacting to opportunities, we are creating them!”