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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
In Northern Colorado and Wyoming
Torch Award Judging Criteria
Torch Award Judging Criteria

We understand that each company is unique and has different needs, experiences and policies. It is not necessary to address all of the suggested content in each of the six sections, they are merely provided as illustrations of possible content to demonstrate that criteria. We encourage you to find areas in each section that best exemplify your company’s practices. (Submission Criteria is based on the BBB® Center for Character Ethics Six Trust Principles of EthicalEnterprising.)

Transformation at the Top    
Reinforce and Build               
United the Team                    
Steer Performance                
Treasure People                    
! Enthusiastically Give Back!

Criteria 1: Leadership Commitment to Ethical Practices

Consider including a letter from the CEO/President or Owner that includes a personal statement of their commitment to ethical business practices.

Suggestion for content:

• Does the company leader have a personal code of ethics?
• Does the company leader or management participate in workshops/conferences or training in ethics?
• What are some examples of ethical challenges the company has faced and how were they resolved?
• What are some examples of any public statement (speech, advertising, or publication) of the leader’s commitment to ethics?

Criteria 2: Communications of Ethical Practices

Describe how the organization uses internal and external communication and/or activities that help the organization intentionally build and maintain an ethical culture and practice.
Suggestions for content:

• How are new employees informed and/or trained in the company’s ethical policies?
• How is the CEO/President/Owner’s personal code of ethics communicated to employees?
• Does the organization use tools or activities that model, mentor, teach or reinforce defined character ethics as part of management communications?
• Does company management use a character code or content with staff meetings?
• Does the company communicate its ethical practices with vendors, customers and stakeholders? If so, how?

Criteria 3: Organizational Commitment to Ethical Practice

Describe how the organization’s vision/mission statement is put into practice. Provide if desired, copies of any organizational statements such as “Vision”, “Mission”, “Core”, “Business Values”, or “Purpose” in the supporting document section with pertinent section highlighted.

Suggestions for content:

• How are these statements shared with existing and potential employees?
• What measurements does the organization sue to gauge progress or adherence of vision and mission?
• How does the company solicit feedback from the marketplace and staff and how do they use this information to make adjustments to their practices to better match their vision/mission?
• What has been the business’ greatest ethical challenge and how was it addressed and communicated?

Criteria 4: Organizational Commitment to Performance Management Practices

Describe how the organization implements the best management practices and encourages employees to pursue and develop expertise in their areas of responsibility.

Suggestions for content:

• How does the company establish its annual goals and targets?
• What measurements does the company use to evaluate progress toward each goal?
• How does the organization establish department or individual objectives or targets?
• How does the company use performance information to encourage, guide and motivate its employees?
• Does the organization use accountability and compensation systems for high performance?

Criteria 5: Organizational Commitment to Ethical Human Resource Practices

Describe how the company’s human resource practices prepare, support, recognize and provide opportunities for growth in both competency and ethical behavior for staff members.

Suggestions for content:

• What hiring practices are used by the company to insure people are hired for character?
• What policies and procedures does the company use to resolve ethical issues?
• Does the company use disciplinary practices for low character and low competency behaviors?
• How does the organization identify and recognize ethical behaviors of employees?
• What are the policies and procedures the company uses to insure employees are treated fairly and respectfully and that workplace safety is ensured?
• What mechanisms does the company use for employee professional development, termination and employee turnover rates?

Criteria 6: Organizational Commitment to the Community

Describe the company’s community support and service activities within their industry and community.

Suggestions for content:

• Does the company participate in industry organizations that promote best practices?
• How are employees encouraged and recognized for spending time in community service activities?
• Does the company contribute funds or in-kind services to community programs that are consistent with the organization’s values and character?
• How are the company’s advertising, operations, risk management, governance, and regulatory compliance behaviors assessed against proven standards?
• Does the company have any proof of achievement with an industry benchmark for high standards of business excellence?

For questions and information on how your company can support these programs, please contact Carrie Rossman at 970-488-2043 or