Being an ESOP has been a key component of AVID’s identity since we became 100 percent employee-owned in 2017. We knew it would be a huge change, but what we didn’t anticipate was how much of an impact it would have on our culture.
What is an ESOP?
First, let’s understand what an ESOP is. ESOP stands for employee stock ownership plan, meaning employees are able to own shares in their employer’s company. This gives employees a financial stake in the future success of their business and helps them build wealth over time. ESOPs differ from traditional stock options because they’re a long-term commitment to the company and its employees.
The Positive Impact of ESOP Culture
In addition to providing employees with a sense of job security, employee ownership has a postive impact on company culture because employee owners feel more invested in the success of their business. As a result, there is more likely to be a better sense of community and morale throughout the company, as well as higher levels of productivity and motivation. Let’s take a closer look.
A better sense of community
ESOP culture helps create a strong connection with your fellow employee-owners because you share in the success as well as overcome obstacles together. This type of culture can lead to greater job satisfaction and company loyalty. As a result, this can also help foster innovation, creativity, and most of all—collaboration.
Being an employee-owned company creates an environment of support and collaboration. There is a feeling of true community.
Jacklyn Almeida, Logistics Coordinator & AVID Employee-Owner
Sharing a common goal
As we all work towards the common goals of our company, input from everyone involved at every level of responsibility within each department is an important part of the decision-making process. This empowers employees at all levels to make decisions on everything from hiring new people to creating new products to buying equipment.
On the same token, employees may get involved in committee work, community outreach efforts, and other projects outside of their day-to-day work responsibilities. These programs help foster a stronger connection between company goals and employee satisfaction, while also focusing on the growth of each individual employee and creating opportunities for that growth to take place.
Employee ownership means everything my teammates and I do is making a difference. We are building our future together.
Elizabeth Woodard, Content & Social Media Strategist & AVID Employee-Owner
While productivity is a key factor in the success of a business, continuously improving the way we do business is just as important as that. At an ESOP, employees are more likely to share ideas for improvements because they are stakeholders in their company. In the same respect, employee-owners at ESOP companies may feel more engaged in their work because they are valued and appreciated by their company and its leadership.
Being part of an ESOP involves me with our business on different levels, allowing us to continuously improve the way we do business.
Stephanie Woodlyn, Customer Care Manager & AVID Employee-Owner
A higher level of motivation
Employee-owners have a say in how the company is run and where it’s headed. This type of structure creates an environment where all employees want to do well—not just for themselves but also for their colleagues. When you’re working at a place where everyone has a vested interest in making sure your business succeeds, you’re going to be motivated to work hard and keep the company growing.
ESOP culture creates a shared focus among all employee-owners. Everyone understands the importance of their own performance to the success of the company. Ultimately, it results in higher quality work, as well as employee overall happiness.
As an employee-owner, I am motivated every day knowing that I have a direct impact on the future growth of our company.
Justin Kahle, Sales Executive & AVID Employee-Owner
According to the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO), 254 ESOPs have been created every year on average since 2014 and in many cases, employee ownership is having a positive impact on businesses. Company culture makes a huge difference in professional satisfaction and success, and when employees feel empowered and valued by their peers and management—everyone wins.