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Employee ownership provides a winning combination of better business performance and happier staff

Employee ownership works in all sectors and sizes of business, and throughout the business life-cycle. The MoralDNA of Employee-Owned Companies helps us understand how this business model succeeds Employee ownership works in all sectors and sizes of business, and throughout the business life-cycle. The MoralDNA of Employee-Owned Companies helps us understand how this business model succeeds across such diverse situations – it is driven by a distinctive ethical dimension.

Previous research in this series showed higher ethical scores from managers in organisations where they are likely to be owners, such as in co-ops and partnerships. This new research, the first to focus on employee trust owned companies, provides further evidence that how a business is owned and governed impacts positively on the ethics of those who work in it, and this has real commercial significance. There is a link between higher ethical scores and better business performance. Managers with higher MoralDNA scores on the ethics of care and reason rate their organisations highly for financial performance.

This earlier research raised important questions for me. What would a survey of managers in employee-owned companies reveal? More importantly how would employee owners respond?

I am grateful to all involved in answering these questions. The research shows significantly higher scores in the values of fairness, trust, excellence, humility and courage in employee-owned companies, with no significant differences between seniority levels. When asked, employee owners agreed it is the way their company is owned and governed that drives their commitment and the performance of their business. These responses from employee owners send a strong signal to other businesses that want to develop and sustain good employee engagement and achieve aims such as attracting and retaining committed staff, encouraging long term decision making, managing risk, promoting customer satisfaction and achieving innovation.

Consider adopting the employee ownership business model.

Graeme Nuttall OBE, Partner, Fieldfisher LLP and, as the Government’s independent adviser, author of Sharing Success: The Nuttall Review of Employee Ownership

First published in The MoralDNA of Employee-Owned Companies (CMI, 25 September 2015)

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