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Posted: August 30, 2010

Sharing the profits

FreeWave employees benefit even in tough times

Randi Abels

FreeWave Technologies gave its employees another cut of the profits this summer.

The Boulder-based company, which makes high-performance radios for the oil and gas industry as well as military markets, has been profit-sharing since 1995, and does it every six months. The employees get 11 percent of the profits split among them. The money is given to a retirement fund for the employee, with additional money given to the worker in cash.

The employees can receive more or less than the average bonus, based on their performance. FreeWave spokesman Ken Granader says this allocation helps to keep employees providing their very best to the customer.

"The success of the company isn't based on leadership only," he says. "It is definitely a team sport, and everybody should share in the success."

That success started a year after its founding in 1993. "We have been profitable every month since November of 1994. I think that's a pretty impressive accomplishment," Granader says.

The company does 97 percent of its work in the Americas and has fewer than 100 employees. Because the company has been lucky enough to continue to be profitable over the years, the bonuses have been constant since the program began. "The amount has fluctuated, but the continuation has not," Granader says.

FreeWave Technologies has had continued success, in Granader's eyes, based on its customer support and reliable products. Each product has a two-year warranty, and customer service is available 24/7. "Once you're a customer, taking care of you is our ultimate concern," he says.

With what it touts as the lowest power consumption in the industry, FreeWave is helping its customers to keep costs down, which increases their profits. All products are personally tested before shipping, and 99.8 percent of the products work exactly as expected, Granader says.

For profit-sharing to be successful, employees must provide the best service they can to the customers. And this incentive has been working well for this company since its start. "If they don't do a complete job, the profitability of the company is affected, and then they don't get as large of profit," he says.

Asked for one word to describe the mentality of the company, Granader's answer was immediate. "Winning. Everyone is focused on winning, whether that is producing the best products, providing the best customer care, or just doing their job exceptionally well. We all know what it means to win."
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Randi Abels is a ColoradoBiz intern.

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