This year I have been honored to spend time with numerous ESOP companies and thousands of employee owners across the country. No matter where I go, I am always asked the following question: How can I and do I engage my employee owners to ensure they truly understand this benefit?
October is always an amazing time of the year as the weather changes from the warmth of Summer to the crispy cool temperatures of Fall. These seasonal changes remind me of the transitions we all face no matter the industry we work in. As things change, we can’t forget to look back and remember the past and where everything initially started.
It takes a concerted effort – in time, energy, and resources – to keep good employees. One method that gets results is to establish a mentorship program. It might not be easy because you’ll need buy-in at all levels of your company, but it’ll be well worth the effort. With the potential for five generations in your workforce, a program that matches new employees with company veterans can pay huge long-term dividends.
ESOP communication committees are critical for ESOP companies to move forward with an ownership culture for participants. These committee members do more than just plan company cookouts and celebrate Employee Ownership Month through games. They focus on providing proactive and educational materials for ESOP participants to ensure all participants become advocates for this unique nontraditional benefit. I have been asked numerous times during roundtable discussions and in conversations with a variety of ESOP companies, “How can I create an impactful ESOP Communication Committee?”
You’ve sold your company to an ESOP. Now what? The way in which you launch your company’s ESOP can have lasting effects on the success of the ESOP and the buy-in and dedication of the employees. It is even beneficial to complete relaunches annually. The launch and subsequent relaunches should occur in a similar sequence every time.
You can’t think about your workforce without thinking about millennials. They are, quite literally, the future of your workforce. But connecting with millennials can be imposing to older generations. How do you reach them? Why do they seem so elusive? Why are the recruiting techniques that have been tried and true not working anymore?
Talent planning is essential to your organization’s success, but implementing a plan often ends up low on the priority list. Every company should have a management transition plan, since it’s critical to continued growth. In a company with an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), the strategic planning responsibilities, referred to as succession planning, starts with the Board of Directors and ESOP Corporate Governance.
The initial thought for many ESOP companies is to cram as much information into a single employee meeting as possible. After all, an ESOP meeting is a substantial commitment of time and resources by the organization, so why not use the time wisely, right? But information overload can be a challenge for employee owners. Because even if the message is a simple one that is delivered perfectly so that all employee owners can understand it, the retention of all of the information you just provided can be lost immediately after the meeting as employee owners go back to their daily responsibilities; soon forgetting the message.
Because you have invested significant time and resources in establishing and maintaining your ESOP, it makes sense to ensure that you are getting the most out of it. One effective way to maximize the benefits of your ESOP is to build and sustain an ownership culture. Studies have found that companies with a strong ownership culture outperform their counterparts.