The Novolex Broad-based Employee Award Plan (BEAP) provides eligible employees with an opportunity to participate in the growth and success of Novolex, offering a cash reward to eligible employees based on an increase in the valuation of the company over time. BEAP recognizes the thousands of hardworking Novolex family members that are the backbone of the organization.
To highlight BEAP, we sat down with Stan Bikulege, Novolex Chairman and CEO, to discuss how the program reinvests in the hardworking employees that consistently add value and elevate Novolex as a company. Stan was the catalyst in establishing BEAP to salute and reward employees in the Novolex Family. He proudly funded this program along with the company’s shareholders.
Q: What are you most proud of being a part of Novolex?
A: It’s the families. They are amazing. They have impacted my life, so I am proud to be able to give back. I look at Novolex as an entity based on the people that make it up and I can’t believe I get to be the CEO of a company full of phenomenal people. I’m just so lucky to be able to look around me, at all of the Novolex families, and see the incredible work we’re accomplishing together. I don’t take success for granted and never forget I’m still just a kid from Pittsburgh.
Q: How does your strong value of family translate into how you lead?
A: I think it’s simple. You need to have hard conversations. I have hard conversations with my daughter and two sons throughout their lives. These tough conversations don’t mean I don’t love them; I love them endlessly. They are my heart and soul. But I look at it the same way as running this company and the employees within it. There are times I need to have tough conversations with colleagues and make tough decisions that affect them, yet also show them that I care about them.
When I think of how I go about my relationship with my own family, I see that as a part of Novolex. It’s showing care and empathy and telling people they’re doing a great job or if they need to up their game. I know our employees are working hard and I appreciate it. I am very transparent. The way I see it is I’m either going to be incredibly passionate about this or I’d be doing something else with my life. There is no middle ground.
Q: What would you hope employees are saying when they go home and speak to their families about BEAP?
A: Our employees are being recognized for their individual ability to have an impact the business. With BEAP they have a chance to be rewarded for that. I don’t think every company does that. I hope they go home and say, “What I do really matters.” It might be a small impact, but it is an impact regardless, and that’s the message I want them to know.
BEAP is structured to remind everyone that it doesn’t matter what your role is in the company – every job is important, and everyone has an impact on the value we create. Everyone has an opportunity to be rewarded for their contributions.
If every day, all 10,000 plus of us get a little bit better, our company will become significantly more valuable, and we all have the potential to benefit as a result.
Q: How can Novolex employees create value for the BEAP?
A: There isn’t a role in this company that can’t impact the value of who we are. Every role at Novolex has a direct impact on the success of the company—it truly is a domino effect.
For example, think of someone who holds a janitorial job at Novolex and is responsible for keeping the factory clean. If this individual is effective in making the factory a safe and clean environment, where people want to come to work, Novolex will have lower turnover. That directly elevates our business, saving money on recruitment and training.
On all the many roles at Novolex —procurement, customer service, human resources, financial reporting, and more – if everyone does their job efficiently and strives to do even better, we can deliver value to our customers and to Novolex. That means people want to do business with us, and the company thrives.
Q: What about the BEAP are you most proud of?
A: I am most proud that we did it. We have great partners in Apollo and Carlyle, who supported the program and wanted to be a part of it. That motivates me because they want to be a part of something that makes a positive impact on Novolex families. We’re fortunate to have partners that wanted to be engaged with this, as well.
There was never a question of whether it was the right thing to do or not, it was just a matter of getting the program launched and spreading awareness of the opportunity for employees. I am honored to be a part of the Novolex family and excited that BEAP will help reward each and every BEAP participant.