Private companies can experience significant changes when they go public. To maintain the same measure of warmth and personal attention to its employees following the shift takes great effort and intention.
Oil-Dri Corporation of America, however, knows that putting the needs of its employees first is not only good for the business, it’s good for everyone’s future.
A leading manufacturer and supplier of specialty sorbent products to consumer and business-to-business markets, Oil-Dri began its Chicago-based operation in 1941. Now products of this global enterprise are sold into animal health and nutrition, agriculture, industrial and automotive markets worldwide.
Understandably, it’s outgrown its humble beginnings. Yet, when Oil-Dri made its initial public offering in 1993, it also made a commitment to emphasize honesty, integrity and accountability in its products and its people.
“We’re not putting them in a box. We’re allowing them to create business goals that fit their needs. And then we customize our approach to fit that need.”
Senior Director of Relationship Management, OneAmerica
In 2014 the company sought help from OneAmerica to ensure it could offer a generous retirement plan to benefit its employees and the company. And Oil-Dri has remained a plan sponsor of OneAmerica ever since.
Oil-Dri’s values are grounded within the company’s family history, reflecting a deep commitment and respect for their employees.
“It’s publicly held, but it’s a family-controlled and -operated corporation that’s been in business for over 80 years,” said Karen Jaffee Cofsky, vice president of benefits at Oil-Dri. “Taking care of our teammates is critically important to us.”
Part of that care is illustrated in the company’s retirement plan, which offers employees a 100% match on up to 6% of their contributions. Based on the response, its workforce enthusiastically appreciates the benefit.
“Oil-Dri has 98% participation in the plan, and most of the participants receive the full company match,” said Jason Kofroth, a OneAmerica relationship director. “According to benchmarks, similar companies have around 84% participation.”
Karen appreciates the assistance from OneAmerica in crafting the custom and competitive offering.
“Retirement plans are a key part of how you attract and retain employees,” she said. “In the last few years, we’ve made changes to the plan that show why this relationship has worked for both OneAmerica and Oil-Dri. Jason, in particular, brings to the table a lot of recommendations about best practices.”
It all begins by learning Oil-Dri’s workplaces and priorities at a granular level, according to Jason.
“We create unique reporting for Oil-Dri,” he said. “It allows them to look at their individual locations and better understand their employee bases and make better decisions on how to design a plan, versus just looking at the entire workforce.”
Rusty McGiboney, senior director of relationship management at OneAmerica, believes that offering smart alternatives beyond one-size-fits-all solutions gives customers more of the autonomy they desire. And this is highly important to employers.
The thoughtful working relationship with Oil-Dri mirrors the level of caring Karen has for her teammates — even after they’ve left the company.
“We feel a real debt of gratitude to those who have chosen to make their home at Oil-Dri,” Karen said. “But when they retire, we want to make sure we’ve done all we can to put them in a good position to maintain their quality of life.”
OneAmerica® is the marketing name for the companies of OneAmerica. Administrative and recordkeeping services provided by OneAmerica Retirement Services LLC, a OneAmerica company, which is not a broker/dealer or investment advisor.