Being an employee owner is exactly what it sounds like – owning a part of the company. Bay Cities, an employee-owned company, became 100% employee owned in 2014 and the best part about it is that we all contribute to our success because: We Own It! A few of our core values that help us run as a successful ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Program) company are:
To get everyone involved and to continue educating the team, the ESOP Communication Committee was created. The ESOP Communication Committee was created by two of our employee owners, one who had been with the company for 44 years! We should probably add longevity to the list of our core values because we have people here that are in the “Half Your Life Club” because they have been a part of the Bay for their entire careers! Our average tenure is 7.5 years - something we are definitely proud of. It goes to show that “When you invest in your employees’ development, they’ll spend their skills in your company’s development.” A wise phrase by Pooja Agnihotri.
The committee involves one person from each department to represent their team as well as to contribute to the monthly activities with either owning that month or assisting with that month. Each person that owns a month comes up with a theme and will brainstorm activities or events with the committee. These activities and events are meant to be educational but most importantly, they are meant to be fun. The core value that should probably be at the top of our list as a matter of fact! As busy as we are, we still manage to squeeze in some fun and have some laughs.
To kick off the year, the theme for January was Train Your Brain. What better way to start off the year than with a couple of word puzzles to get those gears going again? In order to make this fun, we of course involved some type of competition because we have some Bay Citizens that love being competitive. Each week we would send out a puzzle that everyone had one week to complete (again a whole week because we are busy!). If you completed that puzzle correctly, you would receive a corrugate puzzle piece with a letter embedded into it. Once you have all four letters in the correct order, you were entered into the FIRE ROUND. Whoever answers the fire round question first is the winner!
To make the ESOP puzzle pieces, our designers came up with the look and how it was to be assembled. Once we had the design, we sent the file over to our Zund cutting table to get them cut out. After they were cut out to shape, they were given to the employees in separate pieces for them to solve and put together. The puzzle was quite easy since we needed a four-letter word that was somehow related to our Employee Stock Ownership Program… ESOP!