Butler/Till attended the 2021 ESOP Multi-State Conference. This annual conference hosts the PA/DE & NY/NJ Chapters. The ESOP Association and its 18 chapters—in conjunction with the Employee Ownership Foundation, host more than 150 meetings across the nation each year, from large national conferences to regional round table discussions. This conference is a key way to connect with new and familiar faces within the ESOP community.
We spent multiple days at different breakout sessions, soaking up knowledge on how employee-owned businesses are tasked with educating their internal employees and external community on the vast benefits of being a part of an ESOP. For us at Butler/Till, we broadened our knowledge on financial literacy, learned how to integrate more ESOP education efforts, and the importance of reinforcing our ownership culture.
When we considered how we could support knowledge sharing within our own ESOP community, we turned to the experts. Our team was captivated by keynote speaker, Bill Castellano, Ph.D., at Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations. Castellano provided years of quantitative data to numerically prove how well ESOPs fair during any economically trying time. For example, during a recession or pandemic, ESOP companies are four times more likely to retain staff as opposed to a traditionally non-employee-owned business. Further data when looking at the 2008 Great Recession, ESOP companies were 25% more likely to stay in business.
Castellano’s research proves employee ownership is associated with:
While we were blown away by the ESOP communities’ leading experts and keynote speakers, we were also able to show up for our owners. As a testament to our strong ownership culture, Butler/Till was invited to speak on our own successful internal ESOP education model and how these efforts can tie into celebrations to keep ESOP benefits and culture in front of our owners. We highlighted various channels of communication, and mostly importantly, we highlighted our people.
So, what did we learn? We have even more reason to be proud as an employee-owned enterprise.