Employee Ownership – A Catalyst for Employee Engagement

Do you want to embed employee engagement in the heart of your business?

Then why not explore giving employees a chance to have a stake in the success of your business alongside the voice you have given them through employee engagement? This is what many call employee ownership.

In March 2013 Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, said: “My goal in Government is to help lay the foundations for a stronger economy and a fairer society – and employee ownership helps do both.”

The 2012 Nuttall Review into employee ownership can be found here.

This Review explained that employee ownership means a significant and meaningful stake in a business for all its employees. Essentially it is where employees have both a voice in how the business is run through employee engagement and a stake in the success of the business.

A business in which a controlling stake (i.e. 51%) is held by or on behalf of all employees is called an employee owned business. But the Nuttall Review noted that the full benefits of employee ownership can be achieved at lower percentages.

The Review also collated the evidence on the many benefits of employee ownership, which include improved business performance and increased economic resilience and explained how it can drive employee engagement.

One of the key recommendations of the Nuttall Review was that Government and others should act to make it easier for businesses to adopt employee ownership. A number of steps have been taken since the Review was published:

(i) The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has produced company model documentation and a guide for employees.

(ii) The Employee Ownership Association has produced a guide called “Employee Ownership: How To Get Started”

(iii) Co-operatives UK in association with the Wales Co-operative Centre, Co-operative Development Scotland and Preston City Council published a new guide to co-operative models of employee ownership called “Simply Buyout”

(iv) HM Treasury published a consultation (with a closing date of 26 September 2013) proposing two tax reliefs to encourage, promote and support employee ownership
There are also a growing number of case studies available from a very diverse range of businesses which explain their journey to employee ownership. An example can be found here.

So why not take a closer look and see what employee ownership could offer to your business?