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What would your project managers and field supervisors do if the project was their own business?

What would your project managers and field supervisors do if the project was their own business?

3 Minute Read

Adopting employee profit sharing or employee share ownership plans can transform your workplace for the better and add business value.

National Team Leader, ExitSmart

What would change in your business if your project managers truly owned their projects? We’re not talking about owning as in being accountable. We’re talking about if they owned all of the Ps: the paper (the contract), the people (the labour), the parts (materials), and the profit?

With employee profit sharing plans (EPSPs) and employee share ownership plans (ESOPs), this is possible.

And in our experience, the change in behaviour is significant. Our clients tell us their employees are more engaged and committed, and they wish they had adopted this approach sooner.

Why bonuses don’t work

For many companies, the approach to achieving ownership thinking and results has been to provide bonuses – with increasingly disappointing results. Year over year, bonuses become expected and employees actually lose motivation when bonuses are lower or absent in difficult years.

Why? Because a bonus is simply a financial treat for personally doing a good job or maybe even just a satisfactory job. Often it isn’t tied to objective performance criteria, and it doesn’t create a clear line of sight to company success.

Contrast bonuses with a plan that rewards people when the company achieves its goals because team members are working together. That’s the magic of employee profit sharing and employee share ownership plans.

Making your project managers and field leaders own their projects means not only tying their rewards to company profitability, but also giving them the tools, information, and authority to create financial success.

You can’t manage what you don’t know

To have true buy in to profit sharing or employee ownership, your people need:

  1. To know how it works, what’s possible, and what’s in it for them

This means having a clear, documented plan — which aligns with the company’s strategic plan — outlining factors such as eligibility, sharing thresholds, reporting, payout, etc., and financial projections that illustrate the impact of various scenarios on the business and on individual project managers.

  1. To know what they need to do – specifically – to drive the desired results

Employees need to understand the key activities and behaviours required to achieve quantifiable company goals, measured and reported as key performance indicators (KPIs).

  1. Accurate real-time data on projects and progress to results

To build trust and accountability, you need the systems and reporting mechanisms in place that give them information exactly when they need it.

Make the plan pay for itself

EPSPs and ESOPs can do more than incent project managers to act like owners. When properly structured, these plans can create long term business value and an exit strategy for the founders.

To bolster your efforts, consider a plan that allows project managers and field leaders to enjoy rewards that accelerate as key milestones are reached. This means that not only do people share in the pie, but also get a bigger slice of a bigger pie.

Developing a plan that calibrates to growth means a true win-win; an opportunity for even more employee involvement, and a plan that contributes significantly more to the business than the cost of operating it.

Creating an effective profit-sharing or employee-ownership plan requires a thoughtful approach and discussions to identify your true needs, and how it ties with where you want to take your business.

Our SMARTshare process is designed around these discussions, taking you on a journey where we uncover what will work best, and then finding a scalable structure that is relevant for you and your company long term.

To learn how SMARTshare can help engage and reward employees while adding to your business value, contact Lynne Fisher, National Team Leader, ExitSMART, at 780.401.7085 or [email protected].

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