NAVCO is proud to be an employee-owned company. We are one of over 6,200 American companies to offer our employees an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). In an ESOP, employees can purchase their own company’s stock as part of a retirement plan.
Research shows that employees that participate in an ESOP enjoy greater value in their retirement accounts, increased stock value, increased trust in management, and greater job satisfaction.
That’s sure nice for NAVCO employees, but what difference does that make to our customers? The advantages of ESOPs spill over from employees to customers in numerous ways. Here are six surprising customer benefits to working with employee-owned companies.
1. Employees Don’t Work for the Business—They are the Business
ESOPs give employees literal ownership over the work they do. This changes a person’s self-image from an employee to a part-entrepreneur. Since the employees own part of the business, they see their work contributing to part of a greater whole.
A report by The Third Way (a non-profit that researches economic opportunity) observes that ESOPs “provide the incentives for greater effort, more cooperation, more innovation and more sharing – all of which contribute to improvements in workplace performance and company productivity.”
We have seen these observations hold true at NAVCO. The fact that our system technicians and support staff take pride in their work is evidenced by our average time to fix support issues—1.1 visits, as opposed to the national average of 3 visits.
2. Participation from Employees
When employees get a stake in the game, this encourages participation in developing policies and ensuring customer satisfaction. Customers benefit from the ideas of those with boots on the ground, not just the executives in the C-suite.
Structuring company participation in this way closes the gap between customer feedback and company changes. The installation technician, sales rep, or billing clerk will be heard when they notice a problem and will be part of the solution to fix it.
3. Better Customer Service is the Norm
An environment in which workers have ownership in the business is an ideal one for premier customer service to flourish. Employees recognize that customers are the lifeblood of their business, and they treat them accordingly.
4. Promotes Employee Retention
Nothing is more frustrating than being a test subject on an employee’s first day. You feel bad for the poor sap who doesn’t know anything yet, but that doesn’t get your problem solved or your system installed.
This scenario is less likely to occur in an employee-owned company because companies that offer ESOPs promote staff retention. The stock program generally is subject to vesting, giving employees a strong incentive to remain with the company. Contributions to ESOPs also enjoy favorable tax treatment—a boon to employees.
Added years of tenure with the company give employees deep knowledge of the ins and outs of departments policies, who to talk to for problems, and how to optimize or fix the products they sell.
5. Long-Term Customer Relationships
ESOPs foster long-term employees, and long-term employees create long-standing relationships with their clients.
When you call in, you’ll get the same person you got last time. Your conversation won’t drag on forever because the person on the other end knows your system, customizations, and history already.
Long-term engagement creates trust between the customer and company because it builds a track record of successfully overcoming obstacles together, and the proof is NAVCO’s 99% customer retention rate.
6. Outcome-Based Incentives
In companies with ESOPs, every employee realizes that they are responsible for part of the company’s success. This means that everyone from the CEO to the shipping clerk gets a pat on the back for increased profits and product innovation; everyone also gets a share of the blame for lost accounts or missed performance metrics.
This strong accountability nurtures a “get it done” culture in the workplace. People with different roles in different departments pull together to accomplish their goals. Outcomes are so important to NAVCO that they even measure installation success and have an astounding 97% picture-perfect installation record.
NAVCO – An Employee-Owned Company
At NAVCO, our mission is to provide electronic security solutions to protect customer assets, creating a safer and more financially secure environment for everyone. We know that we can’t fulfill this commitment to our customers until we do right by our staff.
NAVCO is proud to be an employee-owned company, offering each of our employees an ESOP so they can be a full participant in and recipient of NAVCO’s success.
As a part-owner of the company, each technician, project manager, sales rep, administrative professional, and executive is committed to and involved in providing excellent customer service and delivering electronic security systems that meet our customers’ needs.
NAVCO is a member of Certified EO. If you want to learn more about becoming an Employee-Owned company, feel free to contact them. https://www.certifiedeo.com/