We are an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). Each employee owns shares of our company’s stock without investing a dime of their own money. Over time, the stock builds equity – many of us consider it a retirement plan.
The idea of Employee Ownership was conceived by Linda Novy as she planned her exit strategy in the late 1990’s. She felt it best complimented GGI’s progressive corporate culture and would help secure its future. So, in 1997 she sold her shares to the employees – the first step of a ten-year plan in which 100% of employees became owners.
Linda’s gift to us enhanced GGI’s culture in significant ways. Employees were more engaged in the success of the company; many would become long-term employees. Some whose tenure is now well over thirty years, rose into management, then upper management. Motivation for learning grew exponentially. The internal financial transparency taught us volumes about how our business is run, giving us a stake in its outcome.
Ownership is not easy. The blessings come from hard work and risk.