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Creating culture at Text-Em-All

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5 min read

It's Official! Here's What Employee Ownership Means For You

employee ownership

Over the past few years, we’ve been working toward a major milestone that will preserve our culture and ensure our customers, community, and employees continue to benefit from our success - Become 100% employee-owned. This October, we finally achieved that goal after four long years.

We never expected such a lengthy journey to get here, but if we were going to make such a big move, we wanted to make sure we got it right. We discovered Common Trust and worked with them to develop an employee ownership trust (EOT), a unique perpetual trust model that is rooted in “purpose”. This transition to an EOT, along with our goal of being a company that lasts 100 years, will help to ensure that we continue being a valued partner for our customers and community for decades to come.

What is an Employee Ownership Trust?

An EOT is a type of legal structure established to benefit employees working in the company. The trust distributes profits to employees who act as stewards of the trust in perpetuity.  We created unique purpose statements that will guide our company for the next 100 years and beyond.

These statements are the foundation of our Employee Ownership Trust model, and we strategically designed them to be in line with our values, culture, and manifesto. They include overarching principles such as:

  • Protect our financial strength (ensure we’re profitable and not putting ourselves at risk)
  • Commit to making a positive impact (for employees, customers, partners, and the community)
  • Preserve our independence (not being at the mercy of investors or shareholders)
  • Foster fulfillment (an atmosphere where employees are engaged in meaningful work)
  • Be a joy to do business with

“With this model, we’re redefining success for business owners,” states Brad Herrmann, Founder and President of Text-Em-All. “Together, we are creating a future where everyone wins, setting a new standard for what it means to thrive in business.”

The Benefits of Working with an Employee-Owned Business

In the world of software, it’s common for businesses to want to sell out and “get rich quick.” The founders of these software companies will even tell you that there would be no point in creating the company if the goal weren’t to sell and turn a significant profit.

However, we’re a bit different at Text-Em-All, and that’s not our goal. Our vision is aligned with developing a business that grows with and supports you well instead of creating short-term fixes that won’t serve you for the long haul.

Long-Term Goals

The intention behind developing the trust is that we will preserve the values and service we’ve been providing our customers for years. So if you’re one of our customers, you can expect the same exceptional service you’ve always had.  

Unlike other companies, we’re not searching for an exit strategy. This is our ideal form, and we’ll be here for decades to come. We’ll NEVER sell the company, and our focus will always be on keeping a win-win relationship for the employees and our customers. The only way for us to be successful is by providing you with excellent service, and so we’ll be relentlessly focused on delivering a truly incredible product.

Fun Fact: We’re serious about being a long-term partner.

People have a hard time believing that we wouldn’t take some huge payday from an investor, but our trust has a special clause to protect our company from sale. If a future group of employees wants to sell the company, all the proceeds must be donated to charity.

“We have one goal, and it’s long-term sustainable relationships,” Herrmann said. “The way we do that is by delivering value to our customers.”

As a company dedicated to long-term growth, we’re keenly aware of the need to adapt and keep up with modern communication methods. We can’t and won’t stay stagnant. We’re committing to continuing to produce top-notch, cutting-edge features and look forward to developing new technology as the industry evolves.  

Private and Independent

One of the biggest benefits of being 100% employee-owned is that now and forever, we’re a private and independent business. We control our product, who we are, and what decisions we make going forward.

This means we’re fully insulated from outside influences that often cause businesses to make unwise and unethical decisions that don’t benefit their employees, customers, or the community.

We know that you, our customers, count on us to be reliable and to provide the same fantastic service that you’ve received for 18 years, and we’re committed to doing just that.

Employees Dedicated to Your Success

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median time for men to stay at a job is 4.3 years, while women tend to stay for around 3.8 years. At Text-Em-All, it’s a little different. As of December 2023, 21% of our employees have worked at Text-Em-All for over 10 years, and 44% of our employees have worked for us for over 5 years.

While part of this could be attributed to our rigorous hiring process, where we ensure we’re hiring people who fit our culture well, there’s another aspect of why our employees have such long tenure. At Text-Em-All, we’ve always strived to create an atmosphere that encourages fulfilling and engaging work for our employees. In fact, we’re so passionate about this that we included it in our purpose statements, establishing it as a cornerstone of our culture.

But why does this matter to you? Well, with employees that have been around as long as ours have, you can rest assured that you’ll be well taken care of by employees who know the product inside and out and are dedicated to your success. The people you speak to and the ones behind the scenes are genuinely focused on making sure our products are reliable and dependable. In addition, employees who who have fulfilling work and a positive company culture are proved to be 3.8x more likely to be engaged at work and produce better outcomes.

A Positive Impact for the Community

At Text-Em-All, our purpose is “To Make a Positive Impact,” one of the best ways we do that is by giving back to our community. We have a variety of ways we give back, including:

Quarterly Contributions

Each quarter, all employees have the opportunity to distribute $1,000 across five local non-profit organizations  however they would like. These include Genesis Women’s Shelter, Frisco Family Services, The Senior Source, North Texas Food Bank, and Big Thought. We began this initiative in 2020, and since then, we’ve donated over $600,000.

Volunteer Time Off (VTO)

We believe that volunteering time is important, which is why each Text-Em-All employee receives one week of Volunteer Time Off a year to serve with an organization(s) of their choice. VTO does not count toward PTO.

Small Giants

We’re a proud member of the Small Giants Community, a group of purpose-driven companies and like-minded leaders that help each other (and budding entrepreneurs) grow and work mindfully. We believe in prioritizing greatness over growth by creating a positive company culture.

Certified Evergreen

As a Certified Evergreen business, we are passionately driven by our purpose to make a positive impact. We believe that putting people over profit, focusing on long-term strategy, and embracing pragmatic innovation are all practices that lead to success.

React JS Dallas

We are committed to building a network of innovative thinkers, which is why we host a regular meetup for Dallas-area developers to learn more about the React JavaScript library. Everyone from seasoned veterans to newcomers joins us for a great conversation.

This is Just the Beginning

Establishing our Employee Ownership Trust was the first step in solidifying the values we’ve always had since the start and making sure they last for 100+ years. And this is just the beginning.

Throughout the years, we’re excited to adapt and hopefully become even more integral to our customers, community, and beyond.

“We’re always going to be a joy to do business with,” Herrmann said. “We’re always going to deliver a product we’re proud of, and we hope you’re always able to walk away feeling like we truly care - because we do.”