A Different Way of Doing Business: New Belgium Brewing

Editor’s Note: This post is a part of a new series called “Our Voice at Work” which will run in the week’s leading up to the first-ever White House Summit on Worker Voice on Oct. 7, 2015. The series will feature voices from across the country that highlight how America is strongest when we work together to build shared prosperity, when the working men and women who are engines of economic growth are true partners in industry and innovation, and when everyone has a robust voice at work.

Business can be a force for good. Good for the planet, good for our communities and good for our co-workers. When we started New Belgium Brewing Co., we began with the idea that we could craft world-class beer in a way that’s respectful of the environment and our co-workers. From our beginnings in our house in Fort Collins to an employee owned company of over 660 co-workers, we credit our growth to our business practices – 100 percent employee ownership, open book management, leading with trust and encouraging each other to use our talents in service to our stakeholders.

Our basic belief that business can be a force for good is rooted in the belief that our co-workers and co-owners want to work hard doing something that they care deeply about, and that caring is fundamentally important to both our co-workers and our business.

In our business we harness the positive energy of our co-workers by offering ownership, opening our books and placing trust in each other.

Ownership through a structure like our 100 percent S corporation employee stock ownership plan (also known as an S corp ESOP) brings us together as a community to focus our efforts toward our common goals, and builds real wealth for our co-workers and our community. In conversations about how business can thrive, some see a dichotomy between offering ownership broadly and being successful. We’ve not found this to be the case. In fact, we have seen the exact opposite: our co-workers and co-owners are deeply engaged in the business of running the business precisely because we have shared ownership.

To read the post by Kim Jordan–CEO of New Belgium Brewing Company–in its entitreity, we encourage you to visit the Department of Labor’s Website.