Intrust IT, which was founded in 1992, provides information technology support for small and medium-sized businesses that can’t afford an IT department of their own. The firm boasts more than 100 customers, most of whom reside in the greater Cincinnati area.
Better educate employees about finances and making money—especially as the company has evolved into an ESOP.
Implement and embrace The Great Game of Business® (GGOB) practices like huddling, financial literacy training, and forecasting to focus the entire team on cutting costs and finding ways to increase their margins.
“GGOB without a doubt has had the biggest impact on our financials as any other program we’ve done in the 28-year history of the company,” says CEO Tim Rettig. “We didn’t expect our profitability to be so drastically affected. It has really been a game-changer for our company. We also have much less turnover, and everyone in the company is very engaged with the profitability of the company because they understand what’s going on with the finances, how they can make changes, and directly benefit when the company does well.” Rettig says there are three reasons his company has embraced GGOB. “The first is that our company strives to be very transparent, and it only makes sense that our finances not be hidden,” he says. “The second reason is it gets everyone involved in the success of the company, which has been proven by our amazing increase in profitability since implementing The Game. The third reason is that we have recently become an ESOP, and in order for real employee ownership to work, the finances need to be something that everyone in the company understands.”
“One of those most amazing things to see is how much different people put forth effort to make better financial decisions on behalf of the company and work as a team to accomplish that goal together. It really creates a culture of good collaboration, honesty, and accountability. From my perspective, it has pulled me into every department of the company to help make a positive financial impact.”
~ Billy Carter, Inside Sales
Spotlight on the Pandemic
The sudden shift in technology needs—like figuring out how to make a Zoom call—meant Intrust IT’s services continue to be in demand despite the pandemic. In April, Rettig joined the CEOs from 50 other companies in the Cincinnati area in pledging not to conduct any layoffs. Fortunately, his team was able to shift to working remotely from home and continue their regular daily huddles virtually. “Our team knew that our profitability was down, but we were still making money,” says Rettig. “We also didn’t have any debt, besides our ESOP debt. But it was a seller note and I am a forgiving lender.” While working from home was an easy transition to make for the Intrust IT team, Rettig says that everyone is anxious to get back to working in the office—especially because they miss the face-to-face time with their colleagues and their clients. “Our staff is just wired that way,” he says.
Rettig says that MiniGames played a key role in implementing Great Game™ as they helped get everyone excited about The Game while also providing some early wins and rewards before they implemented their full bonus program. “We still do MiniGames,” says Rettig, “but not as frequently because the engagement has been so good in the financial side and the bonus program that we haven’t had to lean too heavily on them.”
“I have noticed that GGOB has helped us hire employees that are engaged and actively present in all aspects of our culture and work-life. Having them read the book, The Great Game of Business, and start learning about financial literacy gets them excited to be a part of our company and gives them a sense of belonging.”
~ Sophack Martinez, Accountant
Rettig says that the biggest struggle for the team is putting ongoing financial literacy training of new employees in place. “We have started to add more time to our Tuesday huddles when we go over the week's numbers,” says Rettig. “With the extra time, we have the opportunity to focus in on why certain numbers are different—higher/lower—as well as answer any general GGOB questions in real time, as education is the key to success.” A similar theme applies to educating all the employees about their role in their ESOP and what it will mean for everyone as owners in the business.
“Participation in GGOB ensures that everyone is informed and engaged. People think and act like owners.”
~ David Hatter, Cyber-security consultant.