November 30, 2020

Ownership Culture Insights: Rhythm and Cadence in Communications

Director of Culture and Engagement

Ownership Culture Insights logo

I was recently joined by Trevor Monnig, CFO at employee-owned PFSbrands, and Patrick Carpenter, president of GRITT Business Coaching, to discuss the importance of rhythm and cadence in communications and internal education initiatives with employee-owners. As part of a series in the NCEO’s new seasonal training program, the Communications Committee Crash Course, employee ownership and business leaders have been meeting for several weeks to learn about what makes ownership culture and communications thrive in an ESOP company. My two guests joined us to focus on what has helped PFSbrands accomplish its goals in the midst of a pandemic and further engage employees in the financials of its business.

For Trevor and company, their successes have stemmed from making financials and key indicators radically available to employees and creating a sort of cadence around how and when each team meets week-to-week to discuss its critical numbers and make the necessary changes with the information it has. According to Trevor, “there is hardly a room in the building that doesn’t have a scoreboard with a team’s critical numbers for the week.” Everything the company is tracking or keeping score on is visible and is updated in near real-time. Every department has been coached internally on how they can have the greatest impact on the bottom line."

Creating a rhythm around their communications and check-ins is about as important as understanding every cent of profit the company makes on every dollar that comes into the business. For PFSbrands, there is a sort of “flow state” happening with its communications on the financials. Each team has a clear structure for how and when it meets, the meetings are efficient rather than time-consuming, and each person understands their responsibility to their numbers. It has allowed the business to weather the pandemic and achieve its goals this year despite initial uncertainty.