ARLINGTON, Va. — Jan. 26, 2021 — BH Companies (BH) has become the first corporation in the United States to launch a new version of the Beanstack mobile app focused specifically on advancing employee wellbeing and diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. The company’s first reading challenge launched with the title “New Year, New Beginnings.” It challenges employees and their families to read daily, track their reading through the Beanstack app, and compete as teams.
“As we move into 2021 (finally!), building company culture remains key for BH,” said Joanna Zabriskie, President and CEO of BH. “This challenge is a great opportunity to head into the new year with a sense of unity, a focus on personal well-being, and a shared enthusiasm for reading.”
BH’s employees are in 26 states and spread out over 300 properties and numerous regional and corporate offices. The Beanstack app gives them an opportunity to connect as co-workers, sharing what they are reading to help each other discover new books and how many minutes they have read to keep each other motivated. Studies show that reading just six minutes can reduce stress by 68% and improve overall health. Researchers have also found that those who read more are more understanding of others, and less likely to feel bias toward marginalized groups.
BH’s primary objectives in launching Beanstack is to more consistently and intentionally build an inclusive company culture. “Since my wife and I started Zoobean, one of our three core values has been inclusion,” said Felix Lloyd, co-founder and CEO of the company behind the Beanstack app. “So, this evolution of our service is in line with who we are and what we do best. And, as a Black man with biracial children, I’m especially proud to begin helping other companies build their culture in this way.”
Best in Class “Fitbit for Reading”
Beanstack for Employee Wellbeing is built on the same software that over 10,000 schools and libraries around the world use to encourage their communities to read more and read together. Tailored for work teams, this new product makes it easy for employees to track leisure reading, see what coworkers are reading, and compete for top spots on leaderboards. It also supports employees with kids who are distance learning as a result of the pandemic. The amount of time that kids spend reading by choice is the best predictor of how well they do in reading.
Zoobean’s team of reading specialists has designed BH’s “New Year, New Beginnings” reading challenge and upcoming challenges. A dedicated account manager manages implementation and support including providing materials to drive employee engagement and ongoing analytics to evaluate success throughout the year.
“One of our guiding principles at BH is to first invest in our employees as they are the foundation of our success,” says Zabriskie. “Once we evaluated Beanstack, its low per employee per month cost and minimal implementation requirements made it the perfect employee benefit for us.”
Challenge Your Company to Keep Reading
On January 4, BH employees began their reading journey together. But the opportunities for employee engagement and advances in DE&I continue throughout the entire year. March, which is national reading month, will bring a “Read Diverse America” challenge. Mark Cuban, who invested in Zoobean when the founders appeared on Shark Tank, will sponsor a challenge during the summer.
“We know that many companies are struggling with how to build a healthy, inclusive, and equitable culture during these challenging times,” saidLloyd. “And we also know that their doing so helps increase profitability and productivity. It’s critically important to the success of those companies and to the wellbeing of all employees.”
To learn more about Beanstack for Employee Wellbeing, visit https://www.beanstack.com/employees. Your company may participate in the national “Read Diverse America” challenge by requesting information at http://www.beanstack.com/read-diverse-challenge. The challenge runs from March 1st to March 22nd, but registration is open now.
Zoobean, Inc. provides a mobile app and other products that help people achieve reading goals by tracking reading and participating in reading challenges. The company’s flagship product, Beanstack is licensed by over 10,000 public libraries, school districts, and corporations around the world. Zoobean’s investors include Kapor Capital, Mark Cuban, RevUp Capital, the AT&T Aspire Accelerator, and Amazon’s Alexa Fund. Its founders were previously Washington, DC’s teacher of the year and Google’s first head of K-12 education outreach.
Founded in 1993, BH Companies is a vertically integrated multifamily owner-operator with a proven track record of success in acquisitions, financing, renovations, and property operations. Powered by a performance-driven culture and tech-forward approach, BH has become one of the largest multifamily companies in the United States with more than 100,000 units under management. Recently named “Best Workplace for Women,” “Best Workplaces for Diversity” and “Best Workplace for Millennials” by Fortune Magazine, BH Companies is strengthened by more than 2,500 employees across the United States.