Employee Ownership has huge benefits across the board, for employees, for customers, and for companies themselves. Centra’s very own Senior Recruiter, Candice Waine, spoke to CTV Morning Live about what a big difference this business model can make.
The idea behind the Employee Ownership business model is that, instead of the company being controlled entirely by one or a handful of people and executives, everyone who works for the business has a stake in it. There are a lot of benefits to this, some of them more obvious than others.
Employee Ownership makes them a true stakeholder in the company and allows them to gain more from their hard work and take more pride in that work. It gives them peace of mind, financial security, and helps them better support themselves and their families. It’s also a great way to help them meet savings goals. It can be a route to owning a home or having a healthy amount for retirement.
At Centra, Employee Ownership works a little differently and there are added benefits. It's one of the big reasons we've been able to win awards such as Canada's Best Managed Companies and Canada's Most Admired Corporate Culture. While the company is wholly owned by its employees, buying in is of course optional. It’s important to give people that choice. Centra offers a share match program, so when an employee chooses to buy shares, their investment will effectively be doubled. This gives them confidence that their investment is worth it right off the bat. Then, as the company continues to grow and succeed as we’ve seen over the years, their investment grows even further.
It’s also important to uphold the integrity of the ownership model, so when someone leaves the company, their stake is bought out. You have to work here to be an owner, which is how you keep a business 100% Employee Owned. We would definitely recommend jobseekers search for opportunities where they have the chance to become part owners themselves.
Employee Ownership's benefits to customers relate directly to how the model impacts employees. You expect to receive the highest level of service from a company owner, regardless of the business. When the business is Employee Owned, especially 100% Employee Owned like Centra, then you’re going to be dealing with actual owners throughout the whole customer journey, from the very first inquiry to the end of your project or sale. This is reassuring for customers and increases the chance of them receiving stellar service every step of the way.
One of the greatest things about Employee Ownership is that it helps ensure a company’s longevity. There’s always people to keep the company going. If you’re a customer buying something, especially if it’s an investment in your home like windows, you want to know that the company will be there for you long into the future. If you’re offering a lifetime warranty, as Centra does on our supply and install windows, you have to be able to back it up. A warranty is only good as long as there’s a company to honour it. Knowing a company is Employee Owned gives customers that assurance that, even if it’s 10, 20 years down the line, the company should still be there, it won’t have been sold off or shut down, and is able to keep its promises.
Because owners care, and the customers are happier in general, your business will see more positive reviews. Word spreads like wildfire, especially now with the internet and the ways people communicate. Employees are going to go that extra mile, and that’s going to boost the company’s reputation and get you more business. It makes Employee Ownership like a never-ending cycle, or a self-fulfilling prophecy. Employee Owners are more inclined to exceed expectations because they benefit more, then the customers are happy, the business itself does better, the Employee Owners see even more rewards, and the cycle continues. You’ll see higher employee satisfaction, you’ll see happier customers, higher profits, and likely more opportunities to grow.
Centra made its biggest move yet this year and acquired Supreme Windows of Calgary. Employee Ownership is a big selling point when it comes to choosing a company to take over. It really sets the owners’ minds at ease. It’s reassuring to know that employees will be taken care of, that they’ll be given new opportunities, and that they’ll have a new route to financial stability and prosperity.
It also makes succession planning very easy. As we mentioned earlier, Employee Ownership helps with longevity and keeping a company going. This is because company decisions, or the choice of whether to sell or close the business, isn’t down to just a few people. With this model, ownership is constantly renewing, and from Centra’s experience, constantly reaping the benefits too.
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