PCL recognizes 35 years of employee ownership
By On-Site MagazineConstruction Skills Development
The PCL family of companies is recognizing the 35th anniversary of the organization’s employee-ownership business model. PCL Construction, originally Poole Construction Limited, was purchased from the Poole family on June 27, 1977.
“This anniversary marks the single most important day in the company’s history,” said PCL president and CEO Paul Douglas. “PCL’s unique employee-ownership model is one of the keys to the company’s success, and the past three and a half decades have seen PCL grow into a $6 billion construction organization, the largest in Canada and the sixth largest in North America.”
Today, more than 90 per cent of PCL’s 3,500-plus full-time salaried staff are employee shareholders. The PCL employee-ownership model is based on the philosophy that “sharing is good for business.” This was the vision espoused by Bob Stollery, the PCL executive who, 35 years ago, introduced the concept of an organization owned by employee shareholders.
“Sharing profits through ownership with employees was a revolutionary concept back in 1977, especially in the construction business,” said Douglas. “When you give employees an opportunity to participate in the success of their company, productivity, customer service, and employee engagement all increase dramatically.”
The original purchase in 1977 included 25 of the company’s employees and Great-West Life Assurance Limited. At the end of the first year, a second offering was made to broaden the base of employee ownership. The process has been repeated every year since. Ultimately, all the financing was repaid, and Great-West Life’s share interest was repurchased.