April 1, 2020


Executive Director

As I talk with members, the word that keeps coming to mind is “resilience.” Some of you reading this are facing terrible choices and no-win situations. Some of you are seeing trouble approaching. But all of the people I have talked with these last weeks – company leaders, employee-owners, advisers, members of the NCEO board, people in our allied organizations – are putting in the hours to create solutions and share them.

I find inspiration in the stories I’ve heard from members. Web Industries used its long-running employee engagement program to find creative ways to make its workplace virus-resistant. Another company built a distributed, daily, peer-to-peer outreach program to keep people connected and healthy. Torch Technologies is 3D-printing face masks for first responders. Davey Tree donated protective equipment to local hospitals.

Employee-owned companies are resilient, and they make their communities more resilient. That resilience shows up in the data the NCEO has generated and publicized for years, but some of that research is more relevant now. Fidan Kurtulus and Douglas L. Kruse found that employee-owned companies were more likely to survive the last two recessions, and the General Social Survey found that for the period around the 2008 recessions, employee-owners were four times less likely to report being laid off. Research by the NCEO’s research director Nancy Wiefek found that millennials who are employee-owners have 92% greater net household wealth than their non-employee-owner peers.

The NCEO’s role is to facilitate the strength that this community already has. If you have questions to ask or ideas to share, please visit our one-item questionnaire on the outbreak, or see excerpts of the results.

Employee ownership is a community, and these webinars are an opportunity for all of us to support each other. We can pull each other through this.