October is always one of our favorite months. Fall is in full swing, the cooler temperatures are here to stay, and the holiday spirit starts to settle in. But our favorite thing of all — and one that gives us good reason to celebrate for weeks — is National Employee Ownership Month.
Each October, we join hundreds of other employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) communities across the nation to celebrate the spirit of employee ownership. For us, it’s a time to reflect upon the values that make Burns & McDonnell a special place to work.
“Ownership affects everything about Burns & McDonnell — from how employees interact with each other to the extra effort put forward on behalf of our clients,” says John Walter, internal communications manager. “The activities and educational events that take place during October remind us that we are all owners.”
This annual celebration is all about understanding the ESOP, embracing our history and having a little —OK, a lot — of fun along the way.
Our ESOP is a great benefit, but it’s also quite complex. And when you add in the fact that we’re an S-corp ESOP, things can get downright confusing. Through a series of courses that range from the basics (What is an ESOP, anyway?) to the more advanced (I’m ready to retire. How does the distribution process work?), helping our employees understand the ESOP is the first step in getting them to appreciate it.
Last year we celebrated 25 years of being an employee-owned firm. While that was a huge milestone for us, it was the years leading up to 1986 that got us to where we are today. Embracing this history and passing down traditions from long-time employee-owners — those who were here before and during the buyout — to our newer team members keeps us looking forward to the next 25 years.
What is a celebration without a little food and fun? Our staple event is the pancake breakfast that kicks off the month, but it doesn’t stop there. Trivia challenges, cook-offs, cube decorating contests and trick-or-treating for family members are just a few of the ways we celebrate.
We talk a lot about employee-ownership, but that’s because it’s what shapes our culture and sets us apart from other companies. If you want to experience the difference that employee-ownership makes, check out our current openings on our careers page. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be a part of these celebrations next year!