The strive to be a good employer has never been more important than over the last 12 months. The Covid-19 pandemic has placed corporate behaviour under the microscope in an unprecedented way, meaning that UK businesses are under more pressure to demonstrate positive values than ever before. This sentiment combined with the economic effects of the pandemic means it is now vital to ensure that staff are motivated and engaged. If employees are not productive and committed to their employer, its financial performance and external reputation will suffer.

But what does being a good employer mean in practice? It means encouraging diversity and inclusivity and supporting employees as individuals. It means recognising and rewarding employees for the hard work that they do. It also means empowering employees to have a voice, to champion things that are going well and to provide challenge where improvement is needed.  

Many employers will look at these things as separate projects. In some organisations, they will be dealt with by different individuals or teams. However, as I said in my blog a few weeks ago, the greatest successes happen when we come together, and give everyone an equal opportunity to make a valued contribution.

An employee ownership structure does just that. It involves staff having a financial stake in a business and a meaningful say in how it is run. To some, this may seem like a big step. However, the reality is that people are the greatest asset to any organisation. To me, the most successful businesses are those that acknowledge the extent to which their performance depends on their staff.

In my view, becoming an employee-owned business is something that any values-driven employer should be seriously considering. Research has consistently shown that staff in employee-owned businesses are happier, perform better, and can deal with crises more effectively. All of this will be important for any business looking to succeed in a post-Covid-19 environment. What is more, employee ownership can also provide a tax-efficient option in succession planning for current business owners.

On Thursday 16 September, I will be joined by my colleagues David Alcock and Adrian Leonard, along with Ritchie Tout of Mazars and Jeremy Gadd of J Gadd Associates, to talk about the how, the what, and the why. We will look at the benefits of employee ownership in more detail, and give some practical guidance on how an employee ownership structure can be implemented.

If you want to learn more about how employee ownership can safeguard success, then sign up here to join the conversation.