November 15, 2021

Network, Get Feedback, and Commit to Action with Fellow ESOPs

Director of Culture and Engagement

You might be surprised by just how many employee-owned companies that use our Ownership Culture Survey are shocked when receiving employee feedback about their workplaces and ESOPs. Thankfully, all the companies we work with are eager to get that feedback because it gives them insights into the experiences of their fellow employee-owners. With the critical feedback and input they need, companies identify their strengths, but more importantly, they identify important aspects of company culture in need of improvement. Over the next few months, the NCEO will bring ESOP companies together for its first Ownership Culture Survey Networking program to collect feedback concerning employee attitudes and work collaboratively to build an effective action plan.

Would it surprise you that, on average, less than 40% of employees at ESOP companies surveyed by the NCEO feel strongly that their company does a good job of making them feel like owners of the business? For a majority of employee-owners that we speak to or survey, the ESOP benefit alone is not sufficient to make ownership at their company meaningful in their day-to-day work. 

The way management and employees perceive the level of employee involvement in decision-making or access to important company information almost always differs. Ideally, organizations will work toward bridging the perception gap in efforts to improve culture and communications. 

A medium-sized manufacturing company with just over 100 employees used the NCEO’s ownership culture survey in early 2016. Supervisors at the company responded 16% more positively than non-supervisors when asked whether supervisors resist when people try to participate in decisions at the company. It was a significant and consistent gap on the topic of employee involvement. On every other “decision-making” metric the company used, supervisors were responding anywhere from 7% to 18% more positively than non-supervisors. The conclusion was clear: employees wanted more involvement and to feel like their input mattered, and supervisors believed the company was doing better on these things than they actually were. 

This is the type of information you can expect to collect and the conversations you can expect to have as part of the Ownership Culture Survey Networking program. The first Ownership Culture Surveys are going out this December, and our participants will meet every month through March 2022. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Dallan Guzinski at [email protected].