In recent decades, workers’ paychecks have remained stagnant, despite increases in productivity. At the same time, returns to wealth have increased. Strategies that transform workers into owners, such as employee share ownership strategies, have the potential to give working people a stake in our growing economy and include them in the nation’s prosperity. With employee share ownership strategies, employees may hold a majority of shares as participants in an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), be members of a worker cooperative, or have a meaningful stake in a public company or start-up. Business leaders often emphasize the value of employee engagement, and many have found that these strategies contribute to higher levels of worker engagement, relative to that of peer companies. Can employee share ownership strategies help workers to share in the success of their companies, while promoting business success?
At this event in our Working in America series, we heard about companies that have used employee share ownership models successfully, as well as policymakers who are exploring strategies to support and advance employee share ownership opportunities. This event was jointly hosted by the Economic Opportunities Program and the Financial Security Program.