There were some very interesting articles last week on The Business Desk on employee ownership. John Lewis is the success story that always gets talked about but on a more local basis Gripple has also been highlighted as an example to follow.
My observation would be that it is employee engagement that creates great companies and success stories not ownership. My advisory colleague David Mitchell spends his life helping companies to get the most from their “Human Capital” but never does his advice start with a product. Every individual is different, some will be motivated by security, some by short term financial gains and some through the opportunity to own part of the company. Often however it is the opportunity to be challenged in their job, a clear career path and the environment in which they work that will deliver greater engagement.
Too often BHP come across companies who are implementing a share scheme simply because their advisor has suggested it is a tax efficient way to pass value to employees. Such schemes clearly have significant tax advantages and frequently are the right way to go but often no-one has stopped to ask the question of what behaviours it will change or drive and what value the recipient will place on it. There is no point giving something of huge value away if in the hand of the recipient it has little value. Which reminds me I must be more organised this Christmas and remember a leg of a race horse is neither a romantic present for my wife nor something she will value!