Border States

 Border States

Wired for success

Imagine coming to work every day and seeing all your employees fired up, motivated to do their best work and dedicated to the success of your company.

What does it take to banish the nine-to-five mentality? Border States, one of the largest electrical distributors in the United States with offices in Phoenix, has discovered the most motivated employees own a piece of the pie.

Border States offers an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), an employee benefit plan that grants workers full ownership of company stocks. “Each employee has skin in the game, and that drives higher productivity,” says Jim McFadzen, Phoenix branch manager. Another way to jumpstart workers’ productivity, he adds, is open book management—sharing P&L statements along with other financial recordkeeping with employees.

You read it right: Exposing your financial secrets to employees. McFadzen is a big believer in open book management for one simple reason: “We want our employees to know our financials because they can influence them,” he says. “We empower our employees to make change and be part of the process.”

Unlike the common pyramid organization, where all power and decision-making is concentrated in the owner’s hands, Border States prides itself on its flat management structure, with employees empowered to resolve certain operational issues.

While ESOPs, open book management and flat management structures aren’t for every business, McFadzen believes they’ve contributed to Border States’ resiliency and staying power. After all, the product and supply chain powerhouse that provides products, materials management solutions and delivery and logistics expertise to customers in diverse industries reached the ripe old age of 60 last year.

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Border States