Employee Ownership, Participation, and Engagement – How to make it work

by Employee Share Ownership on July 3, 2012

1. A performance oriented workplace culture is the key to business success and this requires the following elements:

(i) Formal staff skills training and education
(ii) Information sharing and employee involvement and participation
(iii) Decentralised decision-making, teamwork and collaboration
(iv) Performance-based rewards and employee incentives based on working smarter
(v) Long-term employment security

2. Employee involvement and participation should be supported by employee ownership because research has indicated that broad-based employee share ownership combined with employee participation and involvement in the workplace increases productivity, loyalty and employee satisfaction. Employee owners feel a greater responsibility because they are part owners of the business.

3. Employee ownership and participation should be voluntary in nature, discrimination free, accessible to all employees and be limited in risk to employees.

4. Employee ownership and participation is not a “one off exercise” – it should become a permanent feature of company relations, in combination with formal reward and recognition systems and the sharing of gains made through employee involvement.

5. Intrinsic to most employee involvement is training it helps team effectiveness, communication, and problem solving.

EOA’s policy statement is:

Employee Ownership + Voice = Business Success

6. Employee Engagement and Involvement needs to be supported at the highest level to succeed: Research shows that where company leadership is committed to creating a workplace environment and where people share more equitably in rewards, have a meaningful say in their work, are provided with detailed information on the company and are treated with dignity and respect, this generates superior performance for that company.

7. Employee Engagement creates community: Companies with strong ownership and participation cultures have an enhanced sense of community which produces lower turnover rates and stronger feelings of engagement and purpose amongst employees, whilst also supporting better work/life balances. It is known that employees will relate to corporate purpose better if they have a role in creating it and recreating it.

8. Communication and Education that works for your employee base is crucial.  It is also clear that effective employee involvement and participation strategies need to be driven as much as possible by what works in your organisation, rather than on theory, assumptions, and doing what others do.  Communication and education are essential elements of an effective participation plan.


Some useful articles on this:

Making Employee Ownership Work: A Benchmark Guide

Employee Share Ownership and Corporate Performance

Employee ownership and company productivity in Australia 

Employee ownership, motivation and productivity (UK)

Engaging for Success: enhancing performance through employee engagement

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