We're excited to announce the launch of a new employee ownership program at PartnerHero. Here's why we're giving our associates a stake in the company and why we think it's the right move.
Culture leads, success follows. This is what we say and believe.
There are a lot of ways to build a business, but for simplicity let’s think about two polar opposite approaches:
For both approaches business success is important, but for one it is the end, and for the other it is the means.
At PartnerHero, we’ve chosen to follow the second path. Our mission, “People. Without borders. Without limits.” is about bringing opportunity and prosperity to underserved and overlooked communities. It’s about lifting people up, breaking down barriers, and empowering folks to be the best versions of themselves.
That is why we do this, and our core values serve as the guiding principles to ensure our alignment around culture. Success is an outcome, not our goal.
Of the five core values that comprise our culture, “take ownership” is often cited when it comes to describing what makes us different from other outsourcing and technology companies, and why we’ve been able to grow to ~2,500 strong, over 9 years, without a single penny of outside funding. Our associates feel empowered, through and through, and this leads to significantly better execution; from spotting opportunities for change, to developing potential solutions, to creating the change we want to see... the word “take” is intentionally action oriented.
We have led with culture, and our success has followed.
But ownership doesn’t just apply to the work. There are other forms of ownership that we believe are important, and we’re excited to share one today.
With the support of our board and executive leadership team, Heather and I are so honored to announce that we are setting aside a meaningful portion of our personal equity to share with our teammates and colleagues. By doing so, we are moving to a shared ownership model for our business, and giving everyone an opportunity to benefit from our financial success.
The program is part of a growing movement across corporate America to provide employees with the opportunity to participate in the value they help create. Tracy Ward, our Chief People Officer, and Ryan Berk, our Chief Strategy Officer, in close partnerships with the nonprofit organization Ownership Works, have led the way for making this dream a reality.
When PartnerHero grows and succeeds financially, we want the folks who we’re so privileged to work with every day to share in that success. This shared ownership program has the potential to build meaningful wealth for our colleagues.
But that’s only part of why we’re so excited about this program. Ownership isn’t just about sharing in the financial rewards of a growing business, it’s also about supporting each other and working together on the path to success. It’s about building our culture together.
Through this program, we’ve just minted a few thousand new owners in PartnerHero, and when we say they’re owners, we mean it! As owners, associates at PartnerHero will get regular Owner Updates with information about company performance and plans, they will have opportunities to share feedback and ideas about the direction of the company, and we’ll regularly celebrate the success we create together.
We’re also excited that with the help of Ownership Works, we’ve developed a program that is free and offered in addition to their regular salary and benefits. Plus, we’re providing associate owners access to financial literacy and education programs to help us all develop stronger financial resilience.
Sharing ownership of PartnerHero with every full-time associate is one of the proudest moments we’ve had on this journey. While equity incentive plans are relatively common at early stage tech startups, it’s a lot less common for more mature businesses like ours, with well established valuations, to offer employee ownership. We were inspired by many other progressive companies, like Chobani, that have chosen the path of shared ownership.
We believe providing our colleagues with a meaningful stake in what they’re helping create will not only enhance our culture, but also lead to more success for PartnerHero and our amazing partners!
-Shervin Talieh and Heather Casey