A wall of employee owners’ caricatures greets EBO Group visitors. When a person becomes an ESOP participant they are added to the wall of colorful, framed drawings– illustrating the company’s commitment to Excellence By Owners (EBO). Of course in the time before someone is added to the wall, they can and do have an impact business success. The EBO Group is committed to engaging new hires in their ownership culture well before that person ever sees an ESOP statement.Spread_Ownership_Thinking-200w“We need to communicate the real meaning of our shared ownership and shared values. Both the importance of our culture and the details of how the ESOP works are part of it,” says Jim Doutt, Manager of Business Development at The EBO Group in Sharon Center, Ohio. “Our company is growing rapidly and we added quite a few new people who didn’t know much about the ESOP.”To accelerate the transfer of both ESOP ownership facts and company’s ownership culture, EBO Group asked Workplace Development to run a series of sessions on ESOP roles. The meetings provided information about ownership and also created a way for the veteran employee owners to share their perspectives and knowledge with the newest people in the workforce.Clearly communicating the meaning of ownership has been critical to business success for this firm; the EBO Group is an entrepreneurial company with world class values and processes. The 100% ESOP-owned firm attributes much of its tremendous success in new product development and commercialization services to the company’s strong “culture of ownership”.

As the company website notes, “Long before the term was coined, EBO was ‘empowering’ its employees.” Employee owners are challenged to take on new opportunities that will fuel growth and embrace change through its quarterly Excellence By Objective (EBO process.) The EBO Process flips the old MBO (Management By Objectives) process upside down, making it a “bottom up” structure. Every employee in the company, every three months, brings ideas to their supervisor for improving themselves, their work area, and the company. Together, management and employees synchronize the growth of EBO Group and its’employees.

Ownership culture sets this company apart. Compared with typical new business incubators and venture capital funding, EBO Group provides a supportive structure for developing new endeavors and their long-term business success. EBO Group Inc. is the parent company of several businesses: PT Tech, TransMotion Medical, IPESsol and eZEhybrid Drives. Visit the company’s website for more about these companies and how EBO Group helps its customer’s to meet their product development challenges www.ebogroupinc.com.

The company needs to be able to rapidly add talent to the workforce without diluting the culture. This makes the ESOP Committee’s work in promoting the company’s ownership culture even more important. Workplace Development worked with the ESOP Committee to develop sessions that:

  • Provided everyone with a refresher about how the ESOP works
  • Gave long-term employees an opportunity to share the benefits of the company culture with the newer hires
  • Clarified what the company expects of owners – roles and responsibilities
  • Showed the contrast between EBO Group’s way of doing business and that of other firms

“Having an outside organization like Workplace Development do the session just strengthens the messages that we work to send every day.” Jim Doutt notes, “We are a different kind of company and that difference is part of our competitive advantage.”
Retirement can seem a long way off for newer employees in any ESOP-owned company. But knowing they are part of a special company where people think and act like owners today can be even more valuable than potential retirement account growth in the future.

Workplace Development can help your company to effectively communicate the benefits of your ESOP to your newest participants. For more information, call Cathy Ivancic at Workplace Development Inc. at 330-896-7285 or civancic@workplacedevelopment.com

What did employees say about the sessions?

Best part of the workshop was interaction with fellow employees to gain new insights on their take on EBO Group and the type of ESOP that we are.

Connecting the dots for the roles and responsibilities in an ESOP was the best part of the workshop.

I got a better grip on what the company is and how my performance affects it.

Relating your job to the overall growth and success of EBO was the best part of the workshop.