Benefits of Employee Ownership
Employee Ownership makes us different because owners care. We at Centra are proud to be a 100% Employee Owned company and we talk about it often, but what is it exactly and does it matter to you if you are looking to buy windows or looking for a new place to work?
- Employees contribute a percentage of their income which is matched by Centra. The employee receives common shares, Centra uses the funds to grow the business.
- Participation is very widespread, almost all employees choose to be shareholders.
- Employee shareholders elect a board which oversees management and the whole organization.
- Employee shareholders investments grows as the share price increases and dividends are paid.
Benefits to Customers
- Your warranty is secure as Centra will live on as ownership passes to new employees.
- Higher quality work as employee ownership reduces turnover.
- Employees care as they are financially invested in Centra. We can offer a lifetime warranty as we know the quality of our work will stand up over time.
- You are supporting a local business as we have local employee owners everywhere we install windows. Centra is the ultimate local company.
- You are supporting the middle class as our profits are shared among employee shareholders.
Benefits to Employees
- Employees have the opportunity to invest in the private sector, which has a higher expected return on investment than public stocks or bonds.
- Employees get access to the same tax advantages as business owners, like the capital gains exemption.
- Employees get to work in a transparent environment. As shareholders they have access to Centra’s financials and strategic plans.
- Employees and management hold each other accountable as owners. Employee ownership is the ultimate union. Employees are the employers, breaking management vs. employee walls.
- We live in the time of international mega corporations, stagnant wage growth, the shrinking middle class, growing distrust in institutions, and concern about the "1%".
- It promotes the spread of corporate profits and investment opportunities back into the working population, it increases the accountability of companies to their employee owners, and increased transparency creates trust with workers and customers.
- Supporting an employee owned company is a vote for a local, sustainable middle class. We believe employee ownership offers a piece of the puzzle to help solve some of these issues.
Personal Reflection from our CFO
I began my career as a Chartered Professional Accountant at one of Canada's 'Big Four' accounting firms where I worked on audits on a wide variety of clients, private sector, public sector, government, and non-profit. I had the opportunity to experience the culture at all of them. In my experience most business cultures are stagnant and flat feeling, they don’t have a strong sense of purpose and their financial results are mixed. There were lots of places I audited with great people and good cultures, but these I felt were often despite the business, not because of the business.
Of all my clients Centra was one of the few clients that I admired both the culture, the people and the business itself. It was clear this came from the employee ownership, workers were engaged in their work, they knew their work mattered to their families and co-workers as they all shared responsibility for their work, and they were given the freedom to improve the business and have fun while they did it.
I jumped at the chance to join Centra when an opportunity came to lead the finance department, I couldn’t beat the culture or opportunity employee ownership provided, even though I was at a national ‘Top 100 employer’.
I’ve been at Centra since 2016 and I’ve witnessed firsthand what employee ownership can do for people; I’ve seen employees use their shares to buy houses, send their kids to university, retire earlier than they thought possible, and the continual transition of ownership and culture to the next generation.
My personal belief is that a company should only exist if it makes the lives of its customers, employees, and communities better. Employee ownership benefits all three, customer’s receive the highest levels of service from owners themselves, products and warranties are backed by a sustainable business with built in succession planning. Employee owners get access to investment opportunities out of reach for most workers, spreading wealth back into their local communities.