Employee Empowerment – turning your Employees into Owners: The Sky Factory Case Study

employee empowerment
Yes, it's not real - it is a skyscape
Do you want your small business to reach new heights? The best way is to empower your employee. There are various methods you can consider, but one of the most effective ones is by offering business ownership to your employees. Check out how it’s done by learning what The Sky Factory is doing.

An interesting Cool Runnings episode of MSN’s Business on Main highlights on a multi-million dollar company, The Sky Factory, that achieve its success by turning its employees into owners – and doing things right while doing the right thing on the other aspects of the business. More on this later… read on.

The Sky Factory, headquartered in Fairfield, Iowa, manufactures niche products – life-like skyscapes; Bill Witherspoon, the founder, and his team of 40 business partners print, cut, edit and install skyscapes for offices and homes. Bill himself works at home – a place where you can also find his manufactured skyscapes.

Bill starts up like many of entrepreneurs; he had no cash, and with 4 kids to support, he had his back against the wall and need to come up with something that makes money – fast. Thus The Sky Factory was born.

Want to build a multi-million dollar small business? Here are some tips

The Sky Factory grows into a multi-million dollar business mainly by taking care of a niche market very well while doing things efficiently and effectively. But the products themselves are just the tip of the iceberg. The real deal is on how the company is run.

The Cool Runnings episode offers some tips for you and me to benefit from:

1. Create an environment that inspires entrepreneurial people

You need to find ways to establish a workspace environment in which entrepreneurial people love to work in; a place that is inspiring and enhancing creativity. How about creating a less-formal, family-like working environment? Bill’s employees are allowed to work without wearing shoes – just watch the video… Will you allow such thing in your office?

2. Implement flat organisation model

The Sky Factory’s employees don’t really have any job titles and “line of command” designated to them; they have no “boss” to report to – they are all owners anyway, and everything is discussed on every Friday. And yes, each employee can have access to the details about the company – the financials, the business issues, etc. – and have equal voices in decision-making.

3. Develop an “owner’s culture”

Yes, being an owner-employee is not a pep talk: There is profit sharing among the employees – 50 percent of net profits are distributed among team members, while the other 50 percent are retained earnings. Bill also empowers each employee by asking him/her, “this is your company – what would you do?” Like what an owner-employee mentions in the video, it’s becoming like a mantra; he keeps asking himself “this is MY company, what would I do?”

If your small business’ employees are not also the owner of the business, would you consider it? Please let me know what you think….

READ THIS: Is your business run by owner-employees? Win a $75 review!

If you happen to be the owner of a small business that runs like The Sky Factory, please tell me about your business and let me know what you think of The Sky Factory’s case study by commenting on this article. I will write about your business in Noobpreneur.com’s future article (worth $75.)

Ivan Widjaya
Employee empowerment is the key to business success

Disclaimer: I receive incentives to share my views on this particular blog post, but all of the opinions are my own. My blog is a part of an online influencer network for Business on Main.