Why AP Health is Employee Owned

By Toby Gray, CEO

When a new, full-time employee joins AP Health, they are given stock option grants in the company. This sets the tone from the beginning that we want our employees to think of AP Health as their company, too. We also give annual grants, 5-year bonus grants, and occasionally additional grants based on merit for exceptional performance. I believe employee ownership is an important part of our company culture, and of our success. Here’s why:

Ownership enhances teamwork and performance. I believe owners think differently than employees with no stake in the company’s future. They are more committed to the success of their fellow employees and to the company as a whole. I’ve always been impressed by other businesses where employees are also owners such as Costco and Publix, and how much pride they take in their jobs; it’s because they have skin in the game.

Growth is good – for everyone. AP Health is a company committed to growth. It is how we fund pay increases and benefit improvements. For employees without ownership, growth could seem like an abstract concept or simply “more work.” For owners, it is not just about working for the company’s future, but also working for their individual financial futures.

Ownership helps recruitment and promotes retention. Ownership differentiates AP Health as an employer and helps us attract high-performing and goal-oriented professionals. It also helps us retain employees for the long term who want to accumulate more stock over time and build their financial nest eggs.

It holds me accountable – to employees. Employee ownership means that employees have a stake in the business decisions we make. I owe my fellow owners explanations for business decisions and our plans for the future. Ownership promotes transparency in the way we run the company and requires open communication.

Everyone should benefit from what we are building together. Most Advanced Practice Providers work for physicians and help create value for the physician practices. At the end of 15-20 years, they have nothing to show for it. I may spend a good part of my day trying to grow AP Health, but I know it is our employees’ dedication, professionalism and hard work that fuels our success. If there is ultimately a sale or recapitalization of the company, we should all benefit financially from that.

I believe that employee ownership of AP Health is central to our growth and success.