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2021 Case Study - Pegasus
Location: San Diego, CA
2020 Revenues: $40.3 million
Critical Numbers™: Net Profit
Pegasus Building Services was founded in 1969 as a full-service janitorial firm serving the Southern California business community. It has since evolved into the premier facility services company with six locations in the southwestern United States.
Jeff Becker started working for the company his dad founded by opening its first San Diego office. In 2009, the company began a transfer in ownership to the younger Becker and an ESOP, which bought 30% of the business. In 2013, the company became 100 percent employee-owned—a first in the cleaning services industry. “I was excited because we were now all owners and in this together,” says Becker. I thought that would flip the switch and get everyone engaged. But that didn’t happen. You can have t-shirts and mugs and all the employee-owned swag you can think of, but it doesn’t mean anything if people don’t have an underlying understanding of what employee ownership really means.”
In his search for a way to get his employee-owners better engaged in the business, Becker read A Stake in the Outcome, which led him to attend the 2019 GGOB conference. The more sessions he attended and attendees he spoke with, the more convinced he became that The Great Game of Business® (GGOB) was the solution he was looking for. “I recognized that I was seeing what I had been trying to do for so many years,” he says. “GGOB was a recipe, a turnkey system, to do this.” He soon made the decision to hire his coach, Kevin Walter, and kick off The Game in February 2020.
Thanks to rolling out financial literacy training, assigning line-item ownership on the P&L, and building line of sight with associates, everyone now has a much better understanding of being an owner,” says Becker. “The education and understanding that people now have is so cool to watch,” he says. “It used to be that people thought their job was to clean and not get a complaint. Now they have a greater appreciation for making sure we get paid for our work. Even people who answer the phone now understand how they impact the bottom line because they are talking directly to our customers.”
“The Great Game of Business has positively changed our culture by being more involved with what is going on within the company. It is really rewarding to see how the numbers play out by the decisions we make on a daily basis. COVID19 affected the way we met in person, but we didn't let that stop us. We continue to meet each week virtually, and it has really helped me maintain a strong bond with my peers.”
~ Jasmin Espino, Environmental, Health, and Safety Risk Manager
Spotlight on the Pandemic
Cleaning commercial office space is the bread-and-butter for Pegasus—so they took an immediate hit when the pandemic forced most people to work from home. After a strong first quarter, the world stopped in quarters two and three. “If people don’t go into the office, they don’t need us,” says Becker. But because they had diversified into other industries like pharmaceuticals and hospitals—both which boomed during the pandemic—they were able to shift their associates to where the demand was. As a result, they caught up in the fourth quarter and earned a Level 5 bonus. “The cement that held us together was our weekly Friday Huddle even if we had to do it over Zoom,” says Becker. “Our people wouldn’t have had as good an understanding that they did without that Huddle.”
One of the areas that the Pegasus team has had success with MiniGames in is targeting “TAGs,” which are additional services where the business can make significant additional profit. In the past, team members have struggled to identify and execute these opportunities. This year, by playing MiniGames like one called “Pegasus LB Team ‘Strikes’ Again!”, the team identified new TAGs to pursue, and earned several prizes including takeout from a local BBQ joint after they had to cancel a bowling outing due to the pandemic.
“GGOB has helped with the culture because we now meet weekly as a company. We get to see each other a lot more often and feel like a family. Before it felt like we were somewhat separated by department and felt close to the people we saw everyday but only because we rarely got to see everybody else. We are all deeply invested in this program and making sure we learn our numbers. I now am aware of how much I impact the numbers; therefore, I try my hardest to watch certain budgets more closely.”
~ Stephanie Salazar, Operations Manager
As a way to continue to drive engagement throughout the company in the coming year, Becker says they have implemented new scoreboards at a branch/department level. “Every city we operate in is a branch with its own budget and forecast,” says Becker. “This year we’re taking the training wheels off and letting those teams create their own budgets and forecasts.” The Pegasus team is also kicking off bi-weekly High-Involvement Planning™ meetings in 2021.
“It's amazing how people are all speaking the language of the business and are cognizant of company goals. Everyone is invested in the micro and macro. From the first week I was employed here I was already wondering if I REALLY needed to order so many supplies and had reached out to friends that worked at other businesses that could be potential clients. And I'm not even in sales! I've only been employed with Pegasus for just over three months, and I have NEVER felt so engaged with the success of a company.”
For nearly 40 years, The Great Game of Business™ has helped organizations reach their highest potential and value.
Tapping into the universal human need to win, GGOB educates your people in the rules of business, rallies them around a common goal, empowers them to see and improve the score, and engages them by giving them a stake in the outcome.