90,000 hours. That is the amount of time CEO and author Jessica Pryce-Jones estimates people spend working during their lifetime. If that many hours really are spent working, shouldn’t the goal be to make that time as high quality and meaningful as possible for our employees?
One of the best ways to ensure engaged employees and a positive work culture is to make them feel like they count, that they have a real stake in their organization. One way to accomplish this would be with an employee stock option plan (ESOP). Currently, there are about 7,000 ESOPs in place in the United States, covering nearly 11 million employees, and that number is poised to grow due to the federal government’s passage of the Main Street Employee Ownership Act of 2018 last month.
The MSEOA, which will go into effect next year, will provide support for ESOPs as well as update the SBA’s lending practices to make it easier for employee groups to get assistance and financing to purchase ownership in their companies.
Employee ownership plans don’t only benefit the employees but companies as a whole and the bottom line. Adopting an ESOP has been shown to strengthen companies within the first year of the move with increased sales and productivity. Studies also show that employee-owned companies are less likely to go bankrupt and tend to stay in business longer than companies without the plans in place. Plus, employees in these companies see tangible differences, which can lead to higher job satisfaction and better productivity. Those working in employee-owned companies usually make more money, have larger amounts in retirement savings, and experience greater job stability with fewer layoffs. Employee ownership also creates more local jobs. This is an important consideration in America’s current economy, which appears strong on the surface but is still failing to create well-paying and meaningful jobs for millions of people. So, rather than waiting around for the Federal Reserve to figure it out, we can continue creating jobs at the local level.
Not the only way
But what if an ESOP isn’t the route your organization wants to take right now or in the foreseeable future? Fortunately, there are other ways organizations can do better jobs of engaging their employees and making all of those hours they spend at work worthwhile.
A lot of organizations talk about transparency and opening up their behind-the-scenes to staff at all levels. But this is often easier talked about than actually done, and organizations rarely have the discipline, staff, or time to do it and do it consistently.
Platform for the people
Enter OpaConnect®, our progressive performance management platform, which gives our clients transparency at all levels and access to a shared vision for all employees at their organizations. The platform provides for ongoing conversations between employees and managers, which allows everyone to feel engaged and connected to the organization’s strategic vision and offers the same transparency found in ESOP companies.
As Stacy Litteral, the executive director of Kids’ Country, told us a few months back after rolling out OpaConnect®: “Staff are more engaged, happier and fulfilled. They now clearly understand their impact and their worth.” (Read more about this OpaConnect® success story here.)
No matter what field of work they are in, everyone wants to feel like their work is meaningful and important. So, whether it’s through an ESOP or OpaConnect®, let’s work together to make those 90,000 hours count.
To get started on transforming your culture and engage employees, contact us at www.opaconnect.com.