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Associate ownership

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100% employee ownership

At Hypertherm, we aren't just employees: we're owners. Ownership is a powerful motivator that ensures our customers, not investors, are our top priority. As owners, we make sure every product is built to the highest quality and that our service is second to none. Hypertherm's no layoff policy means associates stay focused on their jobs and Hypertherm doesn't lose knowledge and skills accumulated over the years.

What's so great about an ESOP company?

  • Ownership creates an opportunity for all Associates to share in the wealth they help create. There is a high correlation between the financial success of the company, the stock price of the company, and Associate HSOP balances over time.
  • Ownership often leads to increased productivity due to greater Associate participation in process improvements [Hypertherm's successful Continuous Improvement Activities (CIA) program is a great example].
  • Owners better understand the relationship between personal performance and company results.
  • Owners are involved in the business as "players" not just watching as "fans".

How does Associate Ownership work?

The Hypertherm Stock Ownership Plan (HSOP) and Global Stock Value Plan (GSVP) allocate Hypertherm stock or GSVP units over time and without charge to the qualified participants. Both plans are retirement savings benefits that help Hypertherm to attract and retain highly qualified Associates. Participants in the plans are vested after working three years of at least 1,000 hours.

Ownership Communications Team

The Ownership Communications Team fosters the Associate-Ownership culture at Hypertherm. It promotes the Hypertherm Stock Ownership Plan (HSOP) and the Global Stock Value Plan (GSVP) through education, communication and celebration. Team members represent a cross section of Hypertherm roles, locations and shifts. The team conducts HSOP and GSVP education. These sessions range from new hire orientations and basic refreshers to stock certificate training and targeted sessions for participants nearing retirement. Throughout the year, the team not only arranges new participant luncheons and delivers gifts for employment anniversaries, but also organizes special events ranging from food drives to celebration parties.

Celebrating Associate Ownership

The new Hypertherm Stock value is announced at a spring Company meeting annually. Dick Couch, President of Hypertherm, explains how the value is determined based on the analysis of an independent and external appraisal company. The value is driven by many factors including Company performance and public comparables. During National Ownership Month each year, the Associates hold a poster slogan contest, support the local community through a food drive, and have a day of celebration with cake and fruit. As our HSOP credo signifies, "Work Like Owners, And Think Like Customers," every day is a celebration of Associate Ownership.

Articles

ESOPEdge

Employee Ownership To the Max - Hypertherm successfully incorporates ESOP culture into all aspects of company.
Published November 2011 by Principal Financial Group
Read >>

Press releases and awards

New England ESOP Association Chapter Awards
2009 Employee Owner of the Year – Heather Roberts
2010 Group Excellence Award

The ESOP Association - Annual Awards for Communication Excellence (AACE)
2006 Total Communications Program, 501 – 1000 Employees
2008 Total Communications Program, 501 – 1000 Employees

The ESOP Association
2010 - Carey Chen Elected to Employee Ownership Foundation Executive Committee
2009 - Carey Chen of Hypertherm Elected to The ESOP Association's Board of Directors

What does ownership
mean to us?

"It means an enthusiasm to do the best, on every task, every day, to improve my own company and the life of my co-workers, or I would say, my co-owners." Erasmo Lima, Owner


Read more thoughts from other owners on what ownership means to them.
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Peter Heilemann, Owner

  • What Does Ownership Mean To Me Now?
  • Since my last response I have achieved a few milestones.
  • I achieved my 60th birthday, am an empty-nester, finished night classes for a college degree and celebrated my 37th wedding anniversary as well as 17 years with Hypertherm.
  • The meaning of ownership has modified for me a bit. Now that I am but a few years from retirement, I am so very grateful for all those before me who worked so hard to make this company a success in those years when success was by no means assured.
  • Ownership for me means that I will continue to work hard to do the very best I can until the ‘gold watch’ day.
  • It means that I will train, encourage and enable others to continue to build this company when my active role in Hypertherm is over.
  • The future successes of Hypertherm when I no longer pass through the doors each workday will stem in part, I trust, from how I act and work like an owner today.
  • Ownership to me is now more than 17 years of past work or even the work I do today.
  • Ownership of Hypertherm will always be a part of my life.
  • For that I am profoundly grateful … to all the other “owners”.

Sharry LaRose, Owner

"Actually, being an owner fits very well with the attitude that I like to have about being here. I  like to take “ownership” of the projects that come my way and like to help out with others whenever I can. I feel that Hypertherm has allowed each of its employees to have the feeling that they are indeed partners in this way and they really have a say in their future. It has never felt like just a job."

Erasmo Lima, Owner

"It means an enthusiasm to do the best, on every task, every day, to improve my own company and the life of my co-workers, or I would say, my co-owners."

Jesse Thompson, Owner

Respect: People treat me respectfully here, not something I can claim for many of my past experiences.
Pride: When people outside of work ask me what I do I respond with a smile, “I work for Hypertherm”.
Security: When I go to sleep at night I am not thinking “will I have a job tomorrow?” It’s truly amazing to know, despite any differences we associates may have, all of us are in this together and it’s in the toughest times we all shine the most. During the recession or when a person we work with suffers a personal loss, we all come together to support each other.

Deborah Aldrich, Owner

  • Being an owner is a partnership - working together to accomplish the same goals.
  • It's knowing that retirement will be less of a financial burden.
  • Knowing that the future is a better place when you work for a company that values the community, family and its customers.
  • Taking pride in your work and being proud to say that I work at Hypertherm.

Bob Tiedt, Owner

  • As a youth soccer coach, I’ve always been an advocate of team chemistry- an often overlooked intangible that can mold individual talent into a smoothly functioning unit. At Hypertherm, the chemistry inspired by ownership is on display every day, whether in the form of employees helping one another, putting in extra time to make sure a task is completed, or departments working together toward a common goal.
  • After MTC (Cam Solutions) became part of Hypertherm, I was amazed and extremely grateful for all the assistance I received during the transition and continue to receive today. We work together toward a common goal and being one of the older members of the Cam Solutions team, I especially appreciate the stability and the rewards that motivate us as owners to drive our team to success.
  • But chemistry is also that feeling you get as part of an organization that gives something back to the community. It bonds the members with the knowledge that they are helping others and encourages others to look at us as more than just a team- something special. As owners, we should all be proud of that.

Marie Wolfson, Owner

  • Knowing how much Hypertherm has grown over the years is amazing and its ability to not lose sight of the associates and core values shows that Ownership is important to all.
  • The downturn in the economy was scary for all of the associates; however Hypertherm did all it could to insure associates had jobs to do. This included reassignment for some and taking on tasks that didn’t pertain to actually making product, but it did help the company.
  • Being an owner gives you a sense of pride in itself as well as knowing you are doing whatever it takes to insure the C/customers are never disappointed.
  • The Ownership Communications Team does an outstanding job of keeping associates up to date with any changes which in turn helps all of us manage our retirement, schooling or other aspirations that financial stability plays a role in.
  • Hypertherm’s Green initiative assists all of us to look at ways we can improve at work and at home, I know I am more aware since Hypertherm has incorporated this.
  • One last point, I was very pleased to hear a child with her parents say “look, Hypertherm” when she saw me with such excitement in her voice. I smiled and said “Yes, Hypertherm. And it is a great place to work”. There are days I feel I want to wear a different shirt then my Hypertherm one, but I was very glad I had it on that day!

David Knapp, Owner

"Hypertherm…..Ownership means taking a visionary outlook toward the future by investing time, money and resources to new product development."

Dolores Struckhoff, Former Owner

  • What does ownership mean to me now?
  • I have to admit, leaving Hypertherm was somewhat difficult for me. As I said in my quote in 2005 “ownership means, it’s more than just a job, it’s part of one’s life.” When you are an owner, you don’t anticipate leaving after twenty years. You think you will be there forever. Before I left, I often joked with Sue Shykula that she and I would never retire, we would probably be there in our seventies, dusting off the Patent Wall that I helped design in the Town Square.
  • All that aside, I value Dick and Barbara Couch’s philosophy of being responsible and planning for yourself. The HSOP helped me to do just that. I also value their philosophy of giving back to one’s community and after leaving Hypertherm, I have done that as well.
  • Although I am no longer part of the day-to-day Hypertherm Team, a day doesn’t go by where I am not reminded of what I learned there and what opportunities I was given. I am also reminded that during my almost twenty years I made a valuable contribution to where Hypertherm is today and I am proud to drive down I-89 into Lebanon and see the Hypertherm logo I helped to develop looming large on their new facility.
  • Thank you for allowing me to be part of this project. I hope everyone at Hypertherm remembers the company's commitment to make "each day better than the one before" for each of their associates. That is what ownership meant to me then and continues to mean to me today.

Kim Boyle, Owner

Ownership means I am resolved to perform the tasks expected of me with precision and pride.  It means I have a stake in creating a workplace we can all be proud of. It means I embrace and take advantage of Hypertherm’s core values. It’s important to take responsibility for everything that surrounds you.   I am pleased to tell people outside of Hypertherm about the commitment we have to our local community and environment.  As an owner, I understand that the advantages of working here – Community Service Time, Health & Wellness Programs, Training and Development,  as well as the financial benefits – are costly.  I am appreciative of the investment that Hypertherm made in me;  and I am determined to show that appreciation by taking responsibility for whatever is put in my Inbox each day.

Wayne Lallo, Owner

Ownership to me means taking a personal interest in making sure we are giving our customers the highest quality products at the best price. It’s also about  taking pride in your work place and how it looks. The cleanliness and safety of our facility directly reflects on us as associate owners.

Carolyn Maloney, Owner

  • Working for a company that….
  • Has the foresight to plan and set targets that are for five to ten years ahead
  • Yearns for constant global growth and sets plans for that growth
  • Participates in and encourages all associates to participate in the community and environmental sustainability
  • Engages all associates in the annual planning processes through empowerment
  • Rallies around C/customer satisfaction as a number one priority
  • Treats associates fairly and with openness and honesty
  • Holds itself, customers, suppliers, and associates at a high standard
  • Encourages associates to constantly develop themselves through education, projects, and global experiences
  • Recognizes a job well done through company celebration (ie: profit sharing and the ESOP / GSVP)
  • Measures results of people, processes and tools and publishes these on a companywide scorecard
  • The above is the picture of an innovative, energetic, enthusiastic, and empathetic company that will always be successful.

Edwin Boudreau, Owner

It means that I'm given an opportunity to own stock in a prosperous company that I work for. This means I can help my plans of prosperity in the future and retirement just by doing my best at work. I also feel grateful that Dick and Barbara Couch give us this opportunity. It is an awesome diversification of stock for retirement.