Come on, employees are adults, we make bold decisions every day, we elect governments, we raise and educate children, we make decisions about our future, we build our communities - so how come when we get to work as employees, we are overwhelmed with policies, procedures, accountabilities, and treated like an adolescent who has to explain why we want to borrow the car and how we are going to look after it, and how we will report back on our use of it, before we are allowed the keys to the car to drive 100metres down the road.
Employee Ownership is the next step in letting employees "grow up" and become adults in the workplace, and what is more it is rewarding than seeing employee behaviour and outlook revolutionised and, for the "bottom line lookers" better financial performance as a result.
Yes we love to reward our employees, there are so many ways to do this that imagination is the only limit. BUT do employees really connect our rewards with their effort or have we just managed to provide another feather to their make their nest more comfortable during the time they are working for us. We even use Employee Share Owning Plans too - but we must remember that when we are doing this just as a means to offset our tax or as a token to keep the staff happy, they will know.
Isnt the goal to have a creative, entreprenurial staff who have an ongoing committment to the long term future economic and social wellbeing of our company and community?
Employee Ownership is a powerful vehicle that is providing a answer to this need. By allowing employees to be owners they set the direction for the company and are able to determine how their company best works for them and their community.
Information is power - If you understand it.
Dont we all love it when we know something that we can use to influence others. Well when you have employees as owners we need to give up thinking like that, give all the information we can to our employees and teach them what it means. If that means investing in training to teach staff how to read financial reports then do it. Science Applications International Corporation which is now is one of the largest emloyee owned firms has invested heavily in this sort of training and now has taught in excess of 17,000 people about financial reporting and stock ownership.
Participation - actually making real decisions
Why do we get HR to hire people to fit into teams and then wonder why it didn't work? Why dont we let the people in the team make their own hiring decision? Yes let them make their own decisions. Let employees choose who they want to work with. Whole Foods Market allows their staff to make these decisions and they dont want "buddies on their teams" they want workers - people who will "make them some money".
Why is it that we get to elect our government but as employees we dont get to elect our managment? It is time to stop being afraid of the decisions our employees might make, give them the information that they need, make sure they understand that information and then trust them to make the right decision.
To my husband and children - you guys are amazing, thank you for your support, patience and encouragement , as well as all the things you do so I can do my MBA - I love you.