Engaged Employee Ownership Culture
GISinc established an ESOP Communications Committee in 2010 to improve and promote employee ownership culture. Every month there is challenge published on the company’s internal Yammer group to engage with fellow employee owners. The challenge is always based around a seasonal or culturally relevant theme and encourages employees to post creative replies. As an incentive, winner (voted on by peers) is awarded $50 that can be spent on GISinc-branded merchandise. August's challenge came with an added incentive - one that would help give back to the community.
Honoring Teachers - Ownership Qualities
With summer coming to an end, the theme for August’s Yammer challenge was “Back to School.” The committee invited employees to share stories of their favorite teachers and how those teachers made a significant impact on their lives. Many employees took the time to respond with heartfelt and inspiring stories of teachers that meant so much to them. The committee was inundated with recollections of grade school teachers who helped them form and nurture their interests, to college professors who helped prepare them for their careers.
This month’s winner, Heidi Harris, wrote about how she took her first GIS class in college without knowing exactly what it was. Being the only female in her class, she felt out of place on the first day but quickly found confidence after she saw that her professor was also a woman. She learned that she should never let herself feel out of place anywhere. She had been a Humanities major but enjoyed this class so much she switched majors and became focused on starting a GIS-related career.
Employee Engagement Translated into Backpacks - Kids in Need Foundation Donation
GISinc and the ESOP Communications Committee wanted to make August’s challenge special by giving back to the community. The company agreed to donate one fully supplied backpack to a student in need per each employee submission to this month’s Yammer challenge through the Kids in Need Foundation. With thirty-four submissions, this month’s challenge was one of the most participated challenges the committee has posted. Thirty-four employees shared stories of teachers they will never forget while thirty-four backpacks GISinc proudly donated to students.
More About GISinc's ESOP Communication Committee
As part of the committee's mission, the revolving committee leaders have created an award-winning intranet where they post multi-media materials to help inform employees of what an ESOP is and how to be an employee owner. These materials include a library of ESOP information documents, frequently asked questions, information on the Employee Owner of the Year, and educational videos filmed by members of the committee (some of which are available on GISinc’s YouTube channel). Fun and engaging activities designed to promote competition and interactions between employee owners are planned every October for Employee Owner’s month.
Stay tuned for future stories about GISinc's Employee-Owned Culture.