Learn from the "Best of the Best" - the Great Game™ All-Stars
Pegasus Building Services
Location: San Diego, CA
2021 Revenues: $42.2 million
Coach: Kevin Walter
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 Los Angeles 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.”
“When I started working for Pegasus, I didn’t know anything about business. I didn’t understand where all the money went. But once I started learning through GGOB, I began to understand that it was just like a household, where you pay bills and don’t keep all the money. Now I get it, it’s opened my eyes. I really feel like an owner now of this amazing company.”
~ Gabriela Brambila, Site Manager
Pain Points and Opportunities
While most companies have struggled to fill open positions over the past few years, the Pegasus team has brought on 45 new people—which has created its own challenges in getting them onboarded into GGOB. “We want them to buy into the Huddles, Scoreboards and MiniGames,” says Dianne Moore, Director of training and Development and Chairperson of Open-Book Committee, “and understand why we do them. We want them to learn the stories behind the numbers.” At the same time, the team is also trying to keep team members who have been a part of the GGOB culture since the beginning engaged and excited about playing The Game as a way to really think and act like owners in the business. “Before GGOB, we didn’t know what ownership meant,” says Moore.
“Providing weekly education through the huddles has empowered our employee owners to understand how they impact each line of the P&L. It also helps everyone engage in the forecasts, and even get competitive about the accuracy of those forecasts. There’s so much more ownership of the numbers and buy-in as a result.GGOB has made such a huge difference.”
~ Nancy Gonzalez, VP of Operations, LA and SD branches
One of the MiniGames the Pegasus team played in 2021 was called “Nightmare Before Christmas Candy Land.” The goal of the game was to tackle several issues at once, including collecting blanket meal waivers, continuing to train employees on DocuSign, and increase usage of DocuSign for payroll documents—all to maintain compliance with rules and avoid unnecessary fines and even costly lawsuits that could range anywhere from $25 to $500,000. Increasing use of DocuSign also helped payroll meet deadlines and decrease their dependency on operations.
As the employee owners continue to expand their understanding of the company’s finances and its budget, the goal is to continue to push more detail down to the company’s eight operational groups, says Susan Cologna, CFO. “We’ve gone from one budget for the business to nine,” she says. “Our goal is to go deeper each year with education about the numbers and get people to truly understand how they can impact them.” On a parallel course, the team is also using that same education to help people understand more about their ESOP and how their efforts will continue to increase its value over time. “The GGOB education is helping us educate our people that believing in the power of the ESOP is more than just a faith-based exercise,” says Christine Lindgren, Billing Manager and a member of the ESOP committee. “We’re showing them it’s something amazing that they can believe in.”
“My first day at Pegasus was the first day of the pandemic. It was so powerful for me to see the numbers and understand where the money was going. It helped me understand how we were dealing with the tough times and how we could all help each other. Transparency makes all owners aware of how we are doing and allows everyone to feel confident in the future of the 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.