Employee Ownership:

Good for workers

Employee-owned companies create wealth for working people

Good for businesses

Employee-owned companies care more about the customer

Good for communities

Employee-owned companies are rooted in local communities

Employee Ownership in the U.S.
6,000+
Employee-owned companies
1.5M +
Employee-owners
50
States
Ownership Concepts

Employee ownership distributes the rights and responsibilities of ownership more broadly

Money

All forms of employee ownership help employees build wealth. They receive value from some combination of annual distribution and growth in the underlying value of the business. At employee-owned companies, wealth building is broad based: every employee has reasonable access to ownership and the benefits of ownership aren’t too concentrated.

Operational Decision-Making

Many employee-owned companies set up practices that expand employee participation in decision-making. The practices they implement may increase the role of employees in setting the company’s overall direction, encourage new product and service ideas, or simply offer greater autonomy over day-to-day work.

Governance

At some employee-owned companies, employees play a role in nominating, electing, and/or serving on the board of directors. At companies with majority employee governance, workers effectively control the organization, and management is formally accountable to the workforce.

Ownership Structures

Employee-owned companies are organized in a number of different ways:

Employee stock ownership plan

Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) are the most common type of employee-owned business in America. ESOPs are the most similar to traditional corporations and have been growing in America for over 45 years.

Worker cooperative

Worker Cooperatives combine employee ownership with employee governance. For example workers electing the board of directors on a one-person, one-vote basis.

Perpetual trust

Perpetual trust is an innovative ownership structure that helps companies lock in their mission indefinitely. They are new to the US but they have a long history in the UK. For example, the John Lewis Partnership, a large department store chain.

Equity compensation

Equity Compensation benefits like stock options, restricted stock, and stock appreciation rights represent a flexible way to create broad-based employee ownership that is popular with small and growing companies.

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