Being the best possible workplace for our employees has been a core value of Gofore from the beginning. Our company has a strong culture of employee inclusion, which is also reflected in ownership. We have included employees in our financial success in a very tangible way.
In fact, so many Gofore’s employees own shares in the company. Employee ownership is an important way of engaging employees. The benefits of ownership are realised as dividends and higher share value, although there is always a risk involved in terms of returns.
Gofore has always been also flexible in employee remuneration, which is being continuously developed. Following a number of acquisitions, we have a wide range of remuneration practices and employee benefits but are unifying them, while making sure they fit every part of our organisation. Our guiding principle is to create remuneration systems that strengthen the culture we are aiming for. Competition is tough in recruiting the best people in our field, and attractive remuneration schemes can increase Gofore’s appeal as an employer.
Rewarding employees is also a management method at Gofore, whereas share ownership encourages employees to develop the company’s operations through their work. As owners, we are all in the same boat, seeking to make Gofore a pioneer in the ethical, digital future.
The biggest boost from the employee share issue
Interest in ownership has been high from the start. The first Gofore employees bought shares in the company very early in its history. But the first major push came when the company was listed in 2017 – the personnel offering was oversubscribed 1.2-fold. Employees were attracted by the discount price of the shares. Subscribers were also included in a matching share scheme.
We believe that offering shares help to engage new employees. In 2018, we organised an exceptional recruitment campaign, making new employees shareholders in our company by providing them with shares worth EUR 1,500 as they signed their employment contracts. The campaign attracted some of the best talents in the market to Gofore.
In the same year, we launched the CrewShare share savings plan for our crew. Gofore employees can save part of their salaries and use it to buy Gofore shares at a reduced price. Participants are also entitled to matching shares once their ownership and employment have continued for long enough. There are currently three savings periods under the plan, and almost 260 participants.
Ownership rewards and teaches
Going the extra mile for themselves motivates many of our employee-owners in their daily work. When you own a slice of your workplace, you are committed in a new way to the company’s share development, and work seems more meaningful. Obviously, commitment to an employer is affected by many other key factors, such as opportunities for development, varied duties, pay, and an international working environment. That, at least, is how my list looks.
Investing in Gofore has also made many employees interested in investment on a more general level. Owning shares in their employer may have been a safe first step into the world of investment for those who were unfamiliar with the risks, management, and various products associated with the investment. Being part of the share savings plan, for instance, has taught many first-time investors a great deal about saving and the principles of investing. Hopefully, this has also reduced some of their uncertainty about investing.
Indeed, investing is an excellent way of developing yourself. I’ve been delighted to hear how my co-workers have talked about their plans to take the next step and look into index funds or housing investment. The threshold to begin investing would certainly have been higher without the buying of shares in Gofore – many have been encouraged to give investing a go.
Do you own shares of your employer company?