Level 10 is 100% employee owned through our employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). We first established our ESOP in 2016, and since then we have grown as a team, increased the value of our company, and been recognized as the ESOP Company of the Year by the Illinois Chapter of The ESOP Association (TEA) twice.
Our ESOP is not just about increasing the value of the company. It influences everything we do, from how we relate to one another and to our customers, to how we work together to share ideas for improvement, develop strategies, and set goals.
What is an ESOP?
An ESOP is a tax-deferred retirement plan similar to a 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan. Through our ESOP, shares of company stock are allocated to all employee-owners. As they work at Level 10, shares accumulate in their account through company contributions. The value of the stock is based on the annual valuation of Level 10, which means we all share in the successes of the company.
Our ESOP does not require any out-of-pocket contributions from employee-owners. All Level 10 employee-owners are eligible to participate in our ESOP after one year of service.
Benefits of an Employee-Owned Company
Besides the financial benefit of retirement savings through an ESOP account, there are numerous advantages to working at an employee-owned company, such as:
- Better employee engagement, motivation, retention, and training than most non-ESOP companies
- You are part of a team whose actions and decisions impact the financial results and future value of the company
- More job stability, as those who work at ESOP companies are 6.2 times less likely to be laid off than those at non-employee-owned companies according to The ESOP Association.
- In line with our commitment to DE&I, ESOPs help to narrow the wealth inequality gap. ESOP participants earn more equitable wages and have more money in savings than their peers in non-ESOP companies, according to the Employee Ownership Foundation.
- Greater levels of communication, transparency, and financial literacy
As an employee-owned company, we pride ourselves on prioritizing the needs of our employee-owners and local communities.