Haldeman Homme is proud to be 100% employee owned for more than 30 years. Every October, The ESOP Association and its member companies celebrate Employee Ownership Month. This is a terrific celebration of the spirit of employee ownership, and an invaluable opportunity to educate employee owners, elected officials, the media, and the public at large about the benefits of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).
What exactly is an ESOP? It’s more than just employee ownership, it’s an employee benefit program that is federally regulated and qualifies as a tax free retirement plan. The Employee Stock Ownership Plan at Haldeman Homme gives each employee a benefit in the company generated through the purchase of company stock. Each employee has ownership of a portion of the overall ESOP trust.
So what does that mean for employees? For many of them, it’s a chance to create a stable retirement and grow their personal wealth. HHI contributes a percentage of every employee’s salary that is converted to stock in the company, unlike a 401k, where an employee will contribute x percent of their personal wages to their retirement plan, the employee sacrifices none of their current income and receives shares in the company as a retirement benefit.
Claire Dennis, Territory Manager, says it makes her feel valued. “When I first started with HH I wasn’t completely sure what an ESOP company was. I was used to working for companies where we made the owner or the company money and would get a small bonus every now and then and definitely was never guaranteed. Now that I understand what ESOP really means, it makes me think like an owner and gives me more of a purpose.”
Many employees see the ESOP as a personal responsibility to contribute to making sure the company, and thus their retirement, continues to grow.
“I am responsible for helping grow our company and for protecting our collective retirements!” says Tim McGowan, Solutions Specialist.
Being an employee owner is much more than just a secure retirement plan, though. When each employee has a stake in the company, they’re invested in keeping the entire operation running smoothly, not just their own division.
Project Manager Jared Judson sees this every day. “The ESOP means that we are all not just co-worker, but co-owners of our company. It means that each employee/owner has an extra personal motivation to make sure HHI is successful, which creates more teamwork and willingness to help others.”
Beyond that, an ESOP provides peace of mind for not just employees, but their families.
“[The ESOP means] security for my family.” Says HR Manager Nicole Federer.
Marketing Manager Danette Childs agrees. “The work I do directly affects me and my family.”
For HHI employees, the ESOP is a driving factor in every aspect of their daily life. “The ESOP drives employees to contribute 110% and to help each other succeed because we are all working together towards a common goal that is our future and our family’s future” says Chris Betlach, IT Director.
Sales Representative Mark Felland, a 30 year employee owner, sums it up: “[Being an ESOP employee] means: a strong sense of loyalty and responsibility to my coworkers; security, as long as I continue to do my part; and keeping all customers happy, not just mine, for the success of the company.”
Interested in becoming a part of our ESOP? Check out our careers page to learn more.