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We found one simple trick to boost employee happiness: Give them ownership

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07.06.2019

Near-record-low unemployment has companies fumbling to find the best ways to recruit and retain workers. Our research suggests a sure-fire way to do just that: Give them a real stake. By that we simply mean sharing some of the profits and even ownership with the men and women who are fundamental to their companies’ success.

Most Americans say they want it. A recent government survey found that vast majorities of respondents across the political spectrum prefer to work for an employee-owned company than an investor- or state-controlled business.

Perhaps that’s one reason why the idea is gaining steam on Capitol Hill and on the campaign trail, with several plans being floated–including ones by Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)–to share more corporate control and profits with workers.

After conducting a massive, multi-year study of shared capitalism, we found that not only is it good for workers, it’s good for the bottom line too.

U.S. businesses have a variety of ways to share their gains with workers, from offering cash profit sharing to giving them the opportunity to purchase stock at a large discount. Another recourse is the Employee Stock Ownership Plan, known as an ESOP, which allows companies to use credit to buy shares that are later distributed for free to employees.

Past research has shown the benefits for workers. A survey that has tracked 5,504 younger men and women since 1997–when they were in high school–found........

© Fast Company