All posts in Communication

Employee Engagement Boosts the Bottom Line

Here’s a quick test. Crumble a piece of paper and toss it in the hallway. Then watch and wait. How many people walk by it before someone picks it up? That’s your ownership culture barometer.

When consultants speak of “building an ownership culture” in ESOP companies, what they really mean is employee engagement.

Do your employees care about the place they work? Employee engagement is the commitment that individuals have to their company. It’s the belief that the company is on the right track, that it values my contributions, and that my work makes a difference.

Whether you call it ownership or engagement, the result is the same: employees who care go the extra mile. They create tangible value for the business. Take a look at the research data:

  • Fully engaged employees return 135% of their salary in value–Center for Talent Retention
  • Moving from low to high engagement can result in a 21% increase in performance—Corporate Executive Board
  • Business units in top quartile of engagement outperform those in bottom quartile:
    • 50% higher in productivity
    • 44% higher in profitability
    • 50% higher in customer satisfaction —Gallup

I think this quote from Simon Sinek underlines the opportunity for ESOP companies: “When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.”

For more, visit the Nest Egg Communications blog


Survey Says – What Employees Really Want at Work

Over the last year, the business community has been abuzz about Gallup’s latest study on employee engagement which revealed the awful truth that only 3 in 10 American workers are truly engaged. Since then, articles about keeping employees “happy” with free perks and bonuses have abounded. Perks are nice, but maybe there’s a better way to inspire team members to take initiative, commit to the culture, and be more productive.

According to Gallup CEO, Jim Clifton, decades-long studies on engagement has shown that employees are engaged when their deeper needs to feel valued, grow and develop, maximize their strengths and make a meaningful contribution are fulfilled.

The results of Gallup’s studies point to three specific things employees need to feel good about their jobs and be fully engaged. Here are suggestions you can use to make these three elements work for your company:

Employees want to know you care about them and their development – When you truly believe employees are the company’s most valuable asset, it shines through in the frequency and manner in which you communicate with them. Let them know specifically how the company is working. Show them how business success boosts their personal success. Share information about important changes and initiatives as freely as possible and think “collaboration” not “command and control.”

Employees want a job that matches their strengths – Every role presents interpersonal and character growth opportunities. Help employees understand their strengths and how that builds the business. When employees deliver their roles with skill, it builds confidence and engagement.

Employees want a sense of purpose in their jobs – Chances are, your employees believe – or used to believe – in your company’s mission or purpose – what you contribute to the world at large. Keep this purpose at the core of your communications. Be sure you regularly articulate the relationship of the work done every day to deliver your mission.

Let us know how you are able to engage your employees, and what challenges we can help you with. We can help you capture your employees connect the dots between their jobs, and their needs and ownership culture.

For more, visit the Nest Egg Communications blog


Empower Your Communications Committee

The single most important characteristic of a successful ESOP is ownership culture. Profitability and growth are assured when employees are invested and involved. Your Communications Committee can play a significant role in building employee engagement, yet in discussions with ESOP leaders, some say it’s difficult to even get volunteers for the Communications Committee.

What can you do? Start small and build on success. Empower your Communications Committee and position them for success by doing these things:

Set clear goals

The Communications Committee should have a clear mission statement and bylaws to outline members’ duties and responsibilities. Put guidelines in place to address issues like how the committee works representation, term limits, and the member election process. Make it part of the committee’s responsibilities to set goals and develop strategies to improve communications within the company. Measure the results to determine what worked.

Ask employees what you should stop/start/continue

Most communication committees are tasked with educating and explaining the ESOP and acting as the bridge between the employees and company leadership. One of the best ways to do this is to ask frontline employees what they think about the ESOP. There are many free online survey programs, like Survey Monkey, Zoho and Typeform that you can use to check in with employees. Get specific about your current communications and education and find out if it’s working or how it can improve. And remember, when you ask for feedback, act on it. Otherwise, you may create dis-engagement.

Be representative

Be sure to involve team members from all employment levels. This means that you’ll need to encourage some people who don’t want to be involved. But here’s a secret: the naysayers bring perspectives that may not have been considered previously. Once they are involved, they are fantastic emissaries for your ESOP.

Interested in creating a Communications Committee for your company? Need ideas on what to communicate? We’ve got that covered. Visit our website to view our 12-month communications toolkit.

For more, visit the Nest Egg Communications blog


Murray Securus Wins 2nd Place in ESOP Communication

Murray Securus Wins 2nd Place in ESOP Communication

Murray Securus, formed in 2012 after the merger of Murray Risk Management and Insurance and The Securus Group, provides business solutions and advisor services in areas such as employee benefits, third-party administration, wealth management, risk and insurance.

Murray Securus not only provides ESOP advice, but is itself an employee-owned company; it made an entry for the Annual Awards for Communications Excellence at the 2013 meeting of the ESOP Association, and was honored with second place in the category of all U.S. businesses with fewer than 250 employees.

Being recognized as having the second-best implementation of ESOP communication in the country is the result of Murray’s dedication to practicing its effective approach internally as well as helping its ESOP company clients improve their practices.


Employee Benefits for ESOP Companies

Merri Ash is vice president of First Bankers Trust Services. Merri has more than 34 years experience in employee benefits services. Her past work experience includes work as a senior trust officer with SunTrust Bank, employee benefits consultant with Wyatt Company, benefits manager with Jonathon Corporation, an ESOP company and team leader and senior benefits consultant with the National Automobile Dealers Association.

Merri Ash was interviewed in May of 2012 for the ESOP Advisor Hall of Fame. You can read her interview online at