Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)
In 1992, Woodward Communications Incorporated (WCI) became an ESOP company, and in 2001, a majority employee owned corporation. The Employee Stock Ownership Plan is a federally-qualified employee retirement program that allows employees to benefit as the company grows and profits increase.
Unlike other employee benefit plans, which typically diversify their holdings by investing in a variety of assets, WCI's ESOP invests primarily in the stock of WCI. Therefore, each eligible employee owner has a stake in the performance of the company and stands to benefit directly from the company's profitability. Because employee owners have a vested interest in the success of the company, they can help control their own destinies.
By implementing an ESOP, the corporation is better able to position itself for future growth while personally rewarding employee owners. This is possible because of special federal legislation which was passed to encourage this type of retirement plan within American companies.
The principal concepts behind an ESOP are consistent with WCI's continued emphasis on employee owner participation at all levels. Participatory management has become a mantra throughout the company as employee owners are encouraged to provide valued input into decisions that affect their jobs. Participatory Management is an aspect of WCI's culture that encourages participation from every person in the organization, unit or group who is, or will be affected by a problem situation, the solution to the problem, or a decision. Whenever possible, decision-making is pushed to its lowest effective level, thus empowering employees to take their share of responsibility for the success of the organization.
The Employee Stock Ownership Plan is an important part of how we have become "a dynamic employee owned media company".
The National Center for Employee Ownership
Lots of great information on employee ownership.
Information for employee owned companies and their employee owners.