News

Using Employee Ownership to Attract and Retain Top Talent

7/1/2019

From the President & CEO of Brinkman Construction, Jim Ciesla

Brinkman Construction rebranded last year and a large part of that process was identifying our company DNA. What makes us us. We interviewed our clients to see how we’re perceived externally, and the feedback was interesting, but not all that surprising. We heard over and over what we already knew – that our people are what differentiate us from our competitors in the construction industry.

We’re not unique in knowing that people are our greatest asset, but the qualities that make them our most valued resource are telling.  Our clients said that we bring a higher level of ownership to projects. That we are proactive and accountable, and we are customer-centric communicators. They said this ownership mentality leads to “tenacious problem-solving” and ultimately, earning their trust. Owners see that we take extreme pride in our work and connect the dots between a quality building and the success of their business.

So, how do we recruit and retain these high-caliber team members that set us apart? One factor I believe is responsible for our success is our employee ownership model. This innovative ownership structure, technically called an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), provides employees with a retirement plan that is invested in Brinkman Construction stock. Currently, there are 7,000 ESOPs nationwide and Brinkman Construction is one of only 115 in Colorado.

We adopted this structure in 2016 and beyond simply becoming 100% employee owned, we made tangible shifts toward creating an ownership culture in which all employees see the importance of their individual roles and the service they deliver to clients. Every employee owner believes in personal accountability and has a long-term vision for projects. They unfailingly do what’s right for our clients because they know successful projects translate to repeat business and positive referrals. When you’re an employee owner, there’s even more of an incentive to go above and beyond and stay at your company for the long-term. This allows us to employ highly experienced staff who consistently provide an exceptional quality of work. We as a company, and we as employee owners, all benefit under this model.

With our new brand came a new tagline: “Driven to Build.” To us, this sums up why the employee ownership model was the right choice for Brinkman Construction. It describes the characteristics that differentiate our employees in the construction industry – grit, tenacity, and most importantly, ownership.

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