Re-energize your ESOP Annual Meeting
Workplace Development, Inc.
by Cathy Ivancic
1M ago
Been there, done that with your annual ESOP meeting? Looking for a new way to convey your critically important ownership messages? Add new energy this year with one of Workplace Development’s field-tested, ESOP-focused presentations and interactive activities. Working with your leadership or ESOP committee, our communication team customizes our engaging learning activities to help you tap into the motivation and performance impact of shared ownership. Use one of the sessions described below to strengthen your culture of ownership and build enthusiasm for the powerful benefits of your ESOP. Un ..read more
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Deepen ESOP Appreciation in Spanish & English
Workplace Development, Inc.
by Cathy Ivancic
1M ago
“This approach got people asking questions and it cleared up a lot of misunderstandings,” noted Tom Trainor, President and Founder of Trainor Builders– a 100% ESOP composed of highly trained construction professionals serving Northern California. “All our employees got a chance to have a company-wide experience getting the same information.  The way we did it made it possible for each person to learn and ask questions in their preferred language,” noted Jon-Mark Chappellet, Vice President. At Trainor Builders roughly half of the workforce would prefer to learn new information in Spanish ..read more
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Resolve to Make the Most of Employee Ownership
Workplace Development, Inc.
by Cathy Ivancic
1y ago
Jim Bado, President, Workplace Development It’s only February, but for many of us, that means some already broken New Year’s resolutions. It’s not too late, however, to jump back on the improvement wagon and resolve to make the most of employee ownership at your company in 2023. Based on our more than three decades providing practical communication, training and ownership-culture development services, here are some real-world suggestions (i.e., ESOP resolutions) you can implement to be more effective this year and lay a solid foundation for future success.   1. Identify a couple of spec ..read more
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The Importance of Building and Sustaining a Recognition Culture to Retain Employees
Workplace Development, Inc.
by Cathy Ivancic
1y ago
By Kyla Alterman Companies across the country, including ESOPs, can’t stop talking about retention. Better pay, more flexible hours, and better benefits aren’t the secret sauce alone. At ESOP companies, good compensation and employee ownership must be paired with a robust culture, one where recognition is front and center. Calling out employees cannot be limited to an occasional gift, award, or bonus. It should be integrated into the fabric of your ownership culture. Recognition is best when it’s aligned with your company values and those employees who represent them are celebrated. A culture ..read more
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Video Modules Teach the Advantages of Being Employee-owned
Workplace Development, Inc.
by Cathy Ivancic
1y ago
By Kyla Alterman “We have an incredibly talented and intelligent group of people and we wanted to make sure they feel informed, part of the ESOP, and rewarded,” explained John Zarsky, Regional VP at Pennoni who also serves as one of the internal trustees at this 100% ESOP firm. Implementing a custom version of Workplace Development’s Certified Employee Owner (CEO) program helped Pennoni achieve this important objective. Keeping a workforce informed about your ESOP can be a challenge, especially when your company has over 30 locations with 1,200 employees and counting. Pennoni, an engineering ..read more
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Plan Design for Building an Ownership Culture: Distribution (aka Show Me the Money!)
Workplace Development, Inc.
by Cathy Ivancic
1y ago
By Pete Shuler, VP/Senior Consultant at Blue Ridge ESOP Associates, and Jim Bado, Consultant at Workplace Development, Inc. Distribution, to state the obvious, is a major component of how your ESOP operates. But have you considered how your distribution policy influences people’s perceptions of the value of employee ownership? And how those perceptions impact the creation of a successful ownership culture? In our last article, we explored how the federal minimum participation rules can hurt recruitment, retention, and culture. And, conversely, we looked at how changing them can enhance your ..read more
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Capturing the attention of a new generation of employees at Bayer Construction
Workplace Development, Inc.
by Cathy Ivancic
2y ago
When long-term employees know the tremendous value of the ESOP but your newer employees are unaware, the standard ESOP 101 presentation at the annual meeting is not enough. Bayer Construction Company headquartered in Manhattan, Kansas, noticed that its more senior employees understood the plan rules, financial benefits an d cultural advantages they enjoyed as an employee-owned company, but the newer employees did not. Each year at the annual meeting, Bayer Construction reveals the new stock value and hands out stock certificates, but executive leader Peter Clark felt the overall awareness of ..read more
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Plan Design to Build Your Ownership Culture #1: Entry Dates
Workplace Development, Inc.
by Cathy Ivancic
2y ago
Plan Design to Build Your Ownership Culture #1: Entry Dates By Pete Shuler, Partner at Crowe LLP, and Jim Bado, Consultant at Workplace Development When owners choose ESOP plan provisions, they often select the federal minimum rules (i.e., the most restrictive provisions under the law). These rules appear to reduce the company’s required cash outlays while it is repaying the debt used to acquire the shares. They are also selected because owners may be unaware of other options. Let’s not undervalue the importance of maximizing cash flow and repaying debt. Without a viable company, there is no ..read more
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Meet Kyla Alterman, WDI’s newest team member
Workplace Development, Inc.
by Cathy Ivancic
2y ago
How did you first get involved with employee ownership?I experienced the resiliency and power of shared ownership while working in New York City’s affordable housing cooperatives. Inspired by that, I looked for opportunities to join the cooperative community for employment in Boston, where I’d planned to relocate. I jumped into a job as a barista for the legendary cooperative Equal Exchange. The more I learned about worker ownership from the company and self-study, the more certain I became that I wanted to pursue building and growing employee-owned businesses as a career. Photo by Matt Keffe ..read more
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Avoid the empty promise of ownership
Workplace Development, Inc.
by Cathy Ivancic
2y ago
By Kyla Alterman and Jim Bado Is your ESOP providing the promised employee motivation, enhanced customer satisfaction and improved profitability? If no, you’re not alone. While studies have demonstrated ESOPs can be powerful tools to strengthen company performance and employee morale and retention, these results are only achieved if stock ownership is combined with a strong employee-owned culture. You don’t have to let your company suffer from unmet ownership expectations. Behind every ESOP success story is a strategy to engage employees as owners, making the ESOP much more than a company-paid ..read more
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