SAS Primary Assignment Chloe Elliott SAS currently has many benefits for their employees; a 35 hour work week, family life work balance, on site medical, generous family oriented benefits, low turnover in a high turnover industry and a general belief that “if your treat employees as if they make a difference to the company, they will make a difference to the company. ” Due the these cultural benefits within SAS we have made an environment which can attract and retain the best talent translating the the best stress free talent made available to our very loyal customers.
This is truly a case where happy employees has meant happy customers. Right now we live in an “oasis of calm” free from the stresses of frantic competition, signing bonuses and stock options. This is a place which the employees and customers are both loyal and excited to work here. The question now is; how will going public effect our people? And can we continue to succeed in the way we know how if we give up some control and go partially public.
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The costs of going public are: legal and regulatory burdens, added bureaucracy, costs for upgrading financial reporting systems which would be required as a public company, and information controls would go out of our CEO’s hands. So we would need to make an investment in new financial reporting systems and there would be more legal and regulatory burdens on our departments because of this added domination added to our infrastructure. We would have to have more transparency with how we run our company.
Even though I may have certain reservations for the company culture if we decide to take this route, I have noted that the percentage of the company being sold to the public is so small as to not have any true influence with the day to day running of our company culture. In fact the percentage sold is so small, I question the reason for going public at all. We are successful and are increasing our profits on our own with no threat to our culture and beliefs. I believe these are tied to the very reason why we are so successful with our customers. Customers are the reason we can operate.
The future scope of this undertaking must be considered. Is this first 10% or 15% just a taster for selling more shares of the company in the future. If this is the case, I fear that we will lose who we are and fall into the trap that so many others have gone losing the very thing which made us who we are. It is the people we are able to attract and retain which makes us one of the top 100 places to work. We are able to retain the best because we provide the best environment to work in our industry. People have bought in to our culture and into the belief system we have created here.
This is a rarity which could easily be tipped if we allow our interests to become tainted towards the wrong target. I am not against this course of action but, I would stress the need to really look at what the long term plan really is. If you are really going to only sell 10 to 15% of the company then, it will be an adjustment but, I feel it can be tolerated within our current culture without disrupting what we have. If the plan is to continue on this route and sell more shares in the future then, I strongly suggest not pursuing this course of action.