By Rebecca Krauss Customer loyalty and employee loyalty blossoms with ESOP
Accounting Manager, JMP
Ask any rental property owner and they’ll tell you that people care more about what they own than what they rent. Therein lies the beauty of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
At JMP we are all owners, and it makes a difference. Undoubtedly, it’s why our customers get a different level of service. That includes everything from how they are greeted at the door to how hard our sales people work to ensure a successful project outcome. It’s not just about the sale. It’s about our collective future as a company and the security this company brings to our families.
Sharing the JMP Legacy – And the JMP Success
JMP became an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) company in 1986. It was a means for founder, Jim Pleasants, to sell the company. Jim cared about the business and its legacy. By transitioning it into an ESOP company he was able to transfer its future into the very hands of the people who built it. Today, JMP is owned by its employees.
Our growth and stability reflect what decades of research about ESOP companies have already shown. One of the largest and most significant studies to date of the performance of ESOP companies by Douglas Kruse and Joseph Blasi of Rutgers found that ESOPs appear to increase sales, employment, and sales per employee by about 2.3% to 2.4% per year over other companies. ESOP companies are also more likely to still be in business several years later and are substantially more likely to have other retirement-oriented benefit plans than comparable non-ESOP companies.
You don’t have to tell JMP outside sales representative, David Casey. He knows. David began his career with JMP over 20 years ago and is basking in the security that JMP’s ESOP plan has brought him, knowing that he is on track to retire when he wants to retire, without worry.
“There is no way that I could possibly have saved as much on my own as the company has put into my ESOP,” said Casey.
Loyalty that Begets Loyalty
Casey has the advantage of hindsight, having been with the company long enough to see the gains. When he shares his story with colleagues who have chosen career paths with non-ESOP companies, they are envious, not only about the security the plan has brought him, but his overall satisfaction as an employee of JMP. This, too, is indicative of an ESOP company. Employees are more satisfied, take more pride in their work, and treat each customer as though they were their own. The implied rewards encourage JMP employees to be the best they can be, which fosters greater customer loyalty.
“My favorite quote is by Nelson Demille, ‘The essence of loyalty is reciprocity,’” said Casey. “People who are loyal to JMP will be rewarded through the ESOP. JMP is loyal to the employees who make this a great company. I have never seen devotion to employees like we have at JMP. Yes, the company does expect each employee to pull their own weight and be dedicated, but that is a good thing. Our vision statement is to be the best rep firm. I want to be a part of the best rep firm. To be the best we have to be dedicated and work hard, but we are rewarded!”