A few weeks ago our head of Business Operations, Bennett Hauser, was presenting to our warehouse team. Toward the end of his talk he touched on how each person should feel a sense of pride and ownership over their work, and how their time and effort is a reinforcement of the trust our members feel when they interact with our service. He was able to say this with relative ease, because he is, in fact, an owner — as is expected in the SV startup world, Bennett and the rest of Omni’s salaried employees have equity in the company.
Culturally, one of our biggest challenges is that we have a bifurcated workforce: A team of operations workers doing the physical work of moving and storing items, packing orders, and driving vehicles; working in the same building as a population of engineers, analysts, and marketers with desk jobs. We all work incredibly hard, but the work looks very different and it can be difficult for each population to reconcile what the other is really doing.
Listening to Bennett’s presentation reminded me of an intention the founding team discussed a while back, and it struck me that the intent was now a way to temper the complexity of this cultural challenge: The most meaningful way to create a sense of ownership is to allow everyone to actually become an owner of the company. Omni seeks to change the meaning of ownership in the most literal sense — we can’t truly embody that vision without bestowing ownership on everyone who works to make it happen.
These are the driving reasons that today, we announced to our whole operations team — our warehouse workers, our Concierge team, and the crew photographing and processing items — that they will receive equity in Omni via a newly-formed stock option plan. It’s the first in a series of ideas we’re putting into action to make Omni one of the best places to work, period. (If you’re interested in joining our team at any position, by the way, send a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
By giving a financial stake in our success to the operational workforce, we’re making growth a point of pride and motivation. Some of our best ideas have come from these workers, going above and beyond to help Omni win by giving great feedback and making thoughtful recommendations for improving our processes, and this makes a career in Omni Operations a more tangible path toward a (potentially!) life-changing financial upside.
Lastly, to our users, you now know that every person you interact with has a personal stake in seeing your belongings move safely to and from our facilities, the homes of your friends and neighbors, and anywhere else Omni takes them as we continue to create a global network access.