Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities (Matthew 25:23)
I get to tour some fascinating manufacturing operations in my travel. Last week, the intended purpose was to conduct voice of the customer and market research for a specific industrial sector. When the visits were over, I realized that I was blessed to experience a rare phenomenon in my career: I interviewed employees from two companies that were both American-Owned and 100% Employee-Owned. The premise behind employee-owned businesses is that these companies tend to perform well financially as well as stand out as an employer-of-choice in their respective communities. According to The ESOP Association, ESOPs (employee stock option programs) exists primarily exist in small businesses. Because I come from a large, corporate background, I was surprised to learn that manufacturing firms represented 22%, construction 13%, and engineering 9% of the industry participants (http://www.esopassociation.org/explore/employee-ownership-news/resources-for-reporters).

I walked away for the interviews feeling the employees’ pride in their work, not simply because of their jobs, but because of ownership awareness of processes, costs, customers, and market conditions. There was a sense of commitment to the entrepreneur who originally had the vision for the business (ironically, both companies were started about forty years ago) that has transcended over time to employee-driven innovation of premium, high value products and services for their customers and markets. Another big takeaway for me was a genuine concern for safety (for employees and consumers/users of their products) and on the impact to the environment. This did not feel like a company sustainability message, but a true desire to do no harm. This pride manifested, as indicated above, in that both of these companies are predicting profitability and continued growth in spite of the uncertainty of the current economy. To learn more about the benefits of employee-owned business for growth and job creation, read http://www.europeanbusinessreview.com/?p=6816).
 As a newly formed small business, I had not considered employee-ownership as a segment of the business model. However, this is a noble way to reward the people for their efforts in these good works. We used to sing the more you give, the more He gives to you, just keep on giving, because it’s really true! What a wonderful example of sowing into the lives and families of those who support the vision…who by becoming stakeholders may take on more responsibilities for accomplishing these greater works. 
Are you a small business owner who participates some form of employee-ownership or profit-sharing? If so, will you share your experiences of the impact to your business, the community, or your customers? Feel free to comment, or, send me an email at latanyua.robinson@gmail.com. If you like this post and want to catch up on some of my previous discussions, please visit the full Purposed Work blog at http://ltr-latrobe-mfg.blogspot.com/.

Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities (Matthew 25:23)
I get to tour some fascinating manufacturing operations in my travel. Last week, the intended purpose was to conduct voice of the customer and market research for a specific industrial sector. When the visits were over, I realized that I was blessed to experience a rare phenomenon in my career: I interviewed employees from two companies that were both American-Owned and 100% Employee-Owned. The premise behind employee-owned businesses is that these companies tend to perform well financially as well as stand out as an employer-of-choice in their respective communities. According to The ESOP Association, ESOPs (employee stock option programs) exists primarily exist in small businesses. Because I come from a large, corporate background, I was surprised to learn that manufacturing firms represented 22%, construction 13%, and engineering 9% of the industry participants (http://www.esopassociation.org/explore/employee-ownership-news/resources-for-reporters).

I walked away for the interviews feeling the employees’ pride in their work, not simply because of their jobs, but because of ownership awareness of processes, costs, customers, and market conditions. There was a sense of commitment to the entrepreneur who originally had the vision for the business (ironically, both companies were started about forty years ago) that has transcended over time to employee-driven innovation of premium, high value products and services for their customers and markets. Another big takeaway for me was a genuine concern for safety (for employees and consumers/users of their products) and on the impact to the environment. This did not feel like a company sustainability message, but a true desire to do no harm. This pride manifested, as indicated above, in that both of these companies are predicting profitability and continued growth in spite of the uncertainty of the current economy. To learn more about the benefits of employee-owned business for growth and job creation, read http://www.europeanbusinessreview.com/?p=6816).
 As a newly formed small business, I had not considered employee-ownership as a segment of the business model. However, this is a noble way to reward the people for their efforts in these good works. We used to sing the more you give, the more He gives to you, just keep on giving, because it’s really true! What a wonderful example of sowing into the lives and families of those who support the vision…who by becoming stakeholders may take on more responsibilities for accomplishing these greater works. 
Are you a small business owner who participates some form of employee-ownership or profit-sharing? If so, will you share your experiences of the impact to your business, the community, or your customers? Feel free to comment, or, send me an email at latanyua.robinson@gmail.com. If you like this post and want to catch up on some of my previous discussions, please visit the full Purposed Work blog at http://ltr-latrobe-mfg.blogspot.com/.