5 ways to engage employees

Callahan & Associates is a 100% employee-owned company. And as an employee of Callahan, it feels good to say that.

The company has operated under an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) that gave employees partial ownership since 2003. But last year, as a benefit to associates and to better align with the ethos of the credit union industry, Callahan converted to full ESOP ownership.

An ESOP provides employees ownership interest in a company, thereby aligning interests around the good of the organization and empowering associates to think like owners. To boost employee engagement and to help associates understand how their day-to-day work impacts the bottom line, Callahan has been diligently working these past few months to implement open book management (OBM) practices.

As I learn more about OBM — which demands visibility across all hierarchical levels — I’m discovering deep parallels between this business model and the credit union one, specifically in regard to employee engagement and motivation. Here are five strategies that we’re looking to implement at Callahan & Associates  to cultivate an engaged team. I bet more than a few would be useful for your shop as well.


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