Hello, Welcome to today's Employee Ownership Small Business Week minicast. I'm Allison Curtis, director of business consulting for The ICA Group.
Employee ownership, or EO, equals excellent operations because employee-owned businesses that are owned and run by the people who work in the company, rather than a handful of founders or outside shareholders, align the interests of workers and owners since they are one in the same. When staff members approach their work as owners they often come up with new ways—large and small—to improve and grow the business employee owners not only know the customer's products and services best, but they also understand the big picture—how the business operates and how it's performing. This helps them make informed decisions about how to run the business, driving innovation, creativity and problem solving. And when workers implement new practices and programs that increase the revenue of the business, they're the ones that receive the direct financial benefit of their work.
So it's not surprising that employee owned companies enjoy 5% higher productivity the year they become employee owned, and that according to the National Center for employee ownership, employees receive five to 12% more in wages, or have 2.5 times as much savings in their retirement accounts.
Take the example of Alvarado street bakery, a $25 million dollar worker cooperative in San Francisco with over 100 employee owners. Employees make double what their counterparts in the industry are making even though they produce the same thing: bread and pastries. They have achieved this through streamlining production processes and systems with employees seeing the benefit and increased wages and profit sharing and winning awards in the process.
When the operational successes of the company and the employees personal successes are intertwined, everyone thrives. For more information about the benefits of employee ownership and to contact an EO expert visit employee ownershipequals.org.