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Is an ESOP part of your post-COVID strategy?


Is an ESOP part of your post-COVID strategy?

By , July 15, 2020
ESOP - post-COVID strategy

While we were all under various levels of lock-down and many employees were working from home, we saw a dramatic increase in business owners turning to implement an Employee Share Ownership Plan (also referred to as Employee Share Schemes) to not only attract, retain and motivate key employees, but to ensure those employees were engaged, focused, and aligned with the business owners.

The academic research on the effects an ESOP can have on a business is overwhelmingly positive. Various researchers quote several compelling statistics which show employee-owned businesses outperform, outgrow and out survive their non-employee owned competitors, while also providing better succession outcomes for all parties: the business, the founders and the employees.

More importantly, our client base who’ve implemented an employee ownership program over the last ten years, have enjoyed better employee engagement, reduced sick leave and staff turnover and improved alignment with business objectives. Clients have seen higher growth, higher profit and productivity and as a result, increased business valuation.

Employee Share Schemes (ESS) are supported by both sides of the government and have widespread community support. US research even supports the idea that consumers are more prepared to buy from, and happier to pay more, for employee-owned products and services. The unique marketing angle is now being launched in Australia to better promote the consumer benefits of employee-owned businesses.

In a time where employees are feeling disconnected from work colleagues and separated from their team and the business, an ESS may well provide the necessary leverage. An ESS can create a shared focus to improve business performance, protecting jobs during the much-spruiked economic cliff post-COVID.

To find out more about employee ownership and how this might help you engineer a bigger bounce post-COVID, check out our eBook, ‘Build It’.

Craig West

Craig West

Executive Chairman | Succession Plus

Craig West is a strategic accountant who has over 20 years’ experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice, provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners. Following 6 years of study to gain two masters degrees, Craig focused on Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for business sales advising on strategic management of tax issues. This experience formed a very strong view that business owners (and often their advisers) were unprepared and unaware of the steps required to prepare a business for exit.

Craig now acts as a strategic mentor for mid-market business owners and has written four critically acclaimed books on employee incentives, succession planning, asset protection and exit strategies. Craig has conducted numerous seminars and keynote presentations throughout Australia & internationally, including adviser education programs for the Institute of Chartered Accountants and CPA Australia.

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