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Why You Should Partner With an Employee-Owned Company

When it comes to finding a Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM) to work with, it can be difficult to narrow down your choices. On the surface, it might not seem like PBMs differ from each other all that much – they all serve to manage your company’s pharmacy benefits. But just like the services offered by health insurers vary, so too do the services offered by PBMs. And one often overlooked factor that contributes to this service is the company’s ownership. In this article, we’re going to look at employee-owned companies and the differences you’ll notice when working with one.

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What is an Employee-Owned Company?

At its most basic level, an employee-owned company is exactly like what it sounds – a company owned by its employees. But how much of the company is owned by employees and which employees have a stake in ownership varies. The main type of employee-owned company is called an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). The amount of employee ownership can vary within an ESOP, but fully-owned companies are 100% owned by their employees. There are over 6,000 ESOPs in the United States, and around 10% of the US workforce is employed by an ESOP.

The Advantages of an Employee-Owned Company

There are many advantages to an ESOP, and those benefits touch every part of the organization. From a broad perspective, ESOPs align company values with individual values. The goals of the company become the goal of the employee. On an individual level, employees at ESOPs are efficient and more fulfilled because they have a vested interest in the company’s growth. Whether it’s on an individual or broad level, when you interact with an ESOP, you’ll often find employees that strike the sought-after balance of hard-working and happy.

The Difference You’ll Notice Working With an Employee-Owned Company

There’s a lot of great information out there about why an ESOP is a great choice for a company, but it’s harder to find guidance on what you can expect when working with an ESOP. So, we’re going to take this discussion one step further and outline the differences you’ll notice when working with an employee-owned company vs. other types of ownerships.

  • You’ll find employees focused on your needs – While customer satisfaction is a key metric for all businesses, ESOP employees approach this metric differently. Instead of attempting to gain customer satisfaction to meet a performance expectation, you’ll find the ESOP employees have a genuine interest in helping customers because they have a stake in the broader company outcomes, not just their individual performances.
  • You’ll experience no bureaucratic oversight – It can be frustrating as a customer to be moved around different departments and have to cut through red tape to try and get your problem solved. This often happens because of a disconnect between ownership groups and the day-to-day processes of the company. That’s why your experience working with an ESOP will be far less congested and complicated – there’s no conflicting interest between ownership and employees because the employees are the owners.
  • You’ll experience faster, more reliable solutions – Employees at ESOPs are often far more productive and efficient. This is likely the result of the two points we just covered – a vested interest in the company and no conflicting interest from ownership. So, when you have an issue that needs to be resolved, an ESOP employee can happily and quickly solve that problem with far less barriers than what they’d face at a standard owned company.

Why Ownership Matters When Working with a PBM

As you can see, when you’re choosing the vendors and agencies your company will work with, looking for ESOPs is a wise choice. But how does that translate specifically to PBMs? The search for the right PBM can be tricky. The intricacies can often be overlooked, and the overwhelming choices can make it easy to just choose out of convenience rather than doing some more in-depth research.

But taking the time to consider who owns a PBM can greatly affect your experience. Many PBMs answer to Wall Street and ownership groups with vested interests in other corporations. This can create enormous amounts of red tape and conflicting interest. The world of pharmacy benefits is inherently complex – full of regulations and frequently changing laws and procedures. You need a PBM who is willing and able to develop a long-term, high-touch relationship with you, so that the complexity of the changing prescription benefits environment doesn’t complicate how your PBM navigates your company’s individual needs.

Working with an employee-owned PBM means you partner directly with the owner of the company. Together, you can work to find a solution that fits the exact needs of your company, and you won’t be thrown around from department to department or wait on endless holds to figure out how changing regulations affect your company’s benefit offerings.

ProAct, Inc. is the largest employee-owned PBM in the country. We pride ourselves on being an industry leader, who can never be bought or sold. When you work with us, you’ll be partnering with a company who has a proven history of being adaptable to the changing pharmacy environment and your individual needs. We don’t use vendors or outsource our mail order and specialty pharmacies; they are wholly owned by us. So, if you want to experience what it’s like to partner with a 100% employee-owned PBM and see the difference for yourself, reach out to us at 888.254.3552 or online.

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