Corporate Purpose | How Being Employee Owned Makes an Impact
As ArcherPoint celebrates 20 years in business as a Microsoft Dynamics Gold ERP Partner for Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central, we are blogging about all the factors that have contributed to our success so far: our core values, service standards, and more. In this blog, we focus on how the structure of our company influences our corporate purpose — Easier Work. Smarter Decisions. While there are several factors that contribute to that purpose, we believe one of the strongest is our corporate structure.
Employee Owned … and Why
In 2019, ArcherPoint became 100 percent employee owned. This in itself is a big differentiator from other companies, and it’s even more so because of why we became an ESOP. But first, a little history:
In 2012, ArcherPoint CEO and co-founder Greg Kaupp introduced the idea of implementing a qualified ESOP (“Employee Stock Ownership Program”). He did this for several very good reasons:
- Employee-owned companies often outperform those that are not.
- A company that performs better provides a better future for its employees.
All those reasons were good ones for going to employee ownership, but Greg had another, maybe less tangible but equally important (maybe even more so). In short, he wanted to share the experience of owning a business — not only the joys, but the challenges — because seeing things from that point of view, in his opinion, would be the only way employees would really appreciate the opportunity they were being presented with. For example, he wanted employees to understand what it’s like to make decisions that affect others. He wanted us to understand how to deal with a month where things might not be going so well and address it proactively.
Then there is the very positive side: Greg knew that many people have a dream of having their own business, but they don’t have the finances nor the support to do it on their own. Employee ownership fulfills a dream that, for most of us, would not otherwise be possible. As a note, candidates applying for employment at ArcherPoint find this very intriguing because it takes the “you have a future with us” discussion to a whole new level.
Another positive: Greg wants to leave a legacy. Many companies that sell to their employees are doing so because the owner wants to retire or step down or the company is in trouble and/or at risk for being acquired. This was not the case with Greg. His plan from the beginning was to be part of the future along with the rest of the employees, to build something that would grow beyond us and would carry on long after he and all of us have gone.
All of these reasons add up to getting employees excited, invested and confident to dive in and really own the company not just work here. That empowerment leads to smarter, more thoughtful, strategically-minded decisions, which makes everyone’s job easier (in a good way).
How Our Organizational Governance Model Ties In, Too
Employee ownership complements our organizational governance model of Holacracy, a cell-based, distributed decision-making corporate governance that helps unlock the potential of every role in the organization. It gives everyone a voice and empowers them with more authority and autonomy in their roles. This creates an environment where change is not only allowed, but encouraged.
In a way, Holacracy is a “heirarchy of purpose” rather than one of people and titles. Its flat management style and egalitarian model fits employee-ownership well because it literally positions employees to think like owners. We have this high-level purpose, which is what every circle (a Holacracy term) and role within is connected to and should be fueling.
Join a Company That Has a Clear Purpose
If what you’ve learned about ArcherPoint’s corporate purpose in this post or the prospect of being part of an employee-owned company is intriguing, we’d love to talk with you. Come explore opportunities with us today.