We’re in the heart of the holiday season and this time of year often inspires us to be more giving. We give to our favorite causes, through our time, talent and treasure. We make a greater effort to spread wealth to others. This could be in the form of a warm jacket, a hot meal, a financial donation or sharing with a friend how we have been positively impacted by employee ownership (ESOP). Generosity comes in many forms.
With less than 10 percent of all companies being employee-owned, it is still a relatively small community. To clarify, an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) is a qualified retirement plan and non-traditional benefit that changes lives for employees - about 14 million in 2019*.
However, the power of an ESOP is felt long before retirement. Employee owners experience it every day at their companies in the form of greater profits, bonuses, a highly engaged culture and job security. Sharing ownership is one way that business owners can give to their employees.
As the American writer and orator Robert Ingersoll stated, “We rise by lifting others.” For this holiday season and throughout the year, let us consider lifting those around us and spreading joy through our own stories of employee ownership. For those in the Employee Ownership community, the spirit of giving is often seen as implementing an ESOP, celebrating with employee owners and storytelling about our experiences. This is especially prominent during the month of October.
While employee ownership means different things to different people, it is widely acknowledged that this powerful "giving" movement is changing lives and shaping the American Dream.
*Source: National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO)