ESOP companies are special and unique. Employee ownership creates a culture of employees that are actively involved in the business on all levels. Employee owners can and do participate fully in every aspect of company management and growth. Engagement in this type of company is rivaled and helps ESOPs out perform other types of companies. Because of this ESOPs require a distinct type of leader, with distinct characteristics.
There are many reasons one chooses to change jobs. Making the decision to leave and considering the unknown of a new career path can be daunting. Changing jobs can also be exciting and give you a fresh outlook on your career. Before you start an exciting new role, you have to end your relationship with your current company. It can be easy to part ways when you are leaving a job you don’t like, but what if you are leaving a great culture?
I recently received one of the best resignation letters I’ve seen in my professional life. While I hated the circumstances surrounding the letter – losing a valued employee – I appreciated the remarkable sincerity in which it was written. It was a great example of a best practice when exiting PFSbrands or any other company that has an envious culture. No doubt there will be a smooth transition for this exit and this employee will be highly thought of for years to come. When exiting a company you care about it’s hard to take the step to leave, but easy to show class and grace through the transition.
20 Years Went By Fast
Wow, 20 years went by fast. It’s hard to believe Pro Food Systems was started as a coffee/cappuccino company on July 13, 1998. Not only was the coffee black, but my hair was too!
My wife Julie and I had our first of three daughters just three months earlier in April of 1998. Julie and I had made a family decision for her to be a “stay at home mom”. I put “stay at home mom” in parenthesis because Julie has been far from that. She’s dedicated the past 20 years to raising our three beautiful daughters and tolerating the work ethic necessary for me to support the growth of PFSbrands.
Value Your Customers and First Impressions
Today as we continue our discussion of the PFSbrands Core Values, I will cover a Core Value that can lead to a happy life, whatever that might look like to you. I’m a strong proponent of the fact that everyone should find the right structure and balance when it comes to God, family, work, and everything else. It makes a huge difference and you will see why.
Likewise, if you’ve read my recent post on entitlements, I’m sure you can see that we believe in Straight Talk at PFSbrands. What’s the point of beating around the bush when you can just tell it like it is, in a tactful, respectful manner? It simplifies business, your relationships and your life. But before we dive deeper, let’s review the entire set of PFSbrands Core Values:
Entitlements Do Not Exist
Next up in our look at the PFSbrands Core Values is one Core Value I stress the most – Entitlements Do Not Exist. In today’s society, due in large part to our government, there are many people that feel entitled to things they haven’t worked for nor earned. In business, a couple examples may include someone feeling entitled to a higher income or a particular promotion or even a particular job… Why? What have these individuals done to truly earn them? In a well-run company, and even in a well-run society, I believe people should be rewarded only for what they work for and what they earn. You’ll find out more below.
Before I get too in-depth, let’s review our entire set of Core Values:
The No Complaining Rule
As we work through our PFSbrands Core Values, we’ve covered such things as having a positive attitude to just simply having fun. Any one of our Core Values alone is a great value to live or work by, as a collective unit they can shape any company. Today we are going to quickly discuss two more PFSbrands Core Values: There’s no I in Team and No Complaining. But before we dive in, let’s review our entire set of Core Values:
The Golden Rule, Ownership Thinking & Be Positive
Recently, I wrote about how in 2011 I sat down and with the help of my leadership team created our Mission, Vision, 5 Guiding Principles, and Core Values. I did this in order to ensure the company continues on a path consistent with my beliefs. Essentially it was a set of ethical guidelines. Below are the core values at Pro Food Systems (PFSbrands).
Do you know what your company stands for?
When I started Pro Food Systems in 1998, I had a vision of the company I wanted to build. However, in 1998 I really didn’t know what I didn’t know.
In 2011, after nearly 12 years in business, Mark Gandy (now a great friend, mentor, and advisor) with G3CFO recommended a book to me. The book was written by Jack Stack and is titled The Great Game of Business. At the age of 40, I had never really been one to read books, actually I had only read two books cover to cover in my life. Luckily for me, I took Mark’s advice and read the book. In fact, I read this book in one weekend and have since became an avid reader. This book, along with several other business books I read, helped me to formulate a better vision that I could put on paper. As our company was going through massive growth in 2011, I sat down and wrote our Mission, Vision, 5 Guiding Principles, and Core Values. While this was time consuming, I truly believe taking the time to contemplate, formulate and communicate these things are critical to scaling a company.
How a Reputable Foodservice Program Can Make a Huge Difference In Your C-Store
Tobacco and fuel… Once the staples of your entire c-store, they now are starting to fail you. From rising tobacco taxes and decreased usage to slipping fuel margins, your cash cows are drying up. What’s going to help make up the difference? That’s where an in-store foodservice program can fill your revenue gaps.
We’re not In the Chicken Business, We’re in the People Business
While it may appear that PFSbrands is in the chicken business, we are actually in the people business. That might not make sense at first glance, but let me explain by starting off with our Core Purpose which is: “To help others become more successful in work and in life.”
Our Mission Statement reads:
“We exist to empower our employees and allow them the opportunity to build their futures by providing all of our customers with consistent, high quality food products at reasonable prices and assisting our retail customers in operating profitable locations.”
First and foremost we are here for our employee owners. It’s all about creating the culture that empowers our employee owners. We have worked incredibly hard to create a culture that allows our employee owners to make their own decisions. One example of this, is that all of our general ledger lines are owned by an employee owner who gets to make their own decisions regarding it. It’s something they don’t take lightly. They strive to be more efficient and thus they improve the company along the way. By allowing our employee owners to have a stake in the outcome, they strive to cut spending, improve sales and become as efficient as possible because they are invested in the bottom-line.