COVID-19 accelerating employee ownership across the UK

Employment & Skills | Latest News | Surveys

New research conducted by market research company 3Gem has found that over half of businesses surveyed would like to offer shares to employees.

3Gem canvassed the opinions of 500 founders, owners and senior management team members from across the UK and discovered that COVID-19 has ignited a new enthusiasm for shared equity.

Against a backdrop of home working and vacant offices, company leaders have had to consider innovative ways to energise and unify staff. For many, offering a stake in the business has become a compelling option.

More dynamic and more aligned

Of those surveyed, 60% felt that by providing equity they could improve staff retention. 56% felt that shared ownership makes a team more productive and nearly half agreed that companies can strengthen their company culture with share schemes.

COVID has clearly played a huge role in provoking British executives to fast-track their share scheme plans.

Nearly half of all respondents confirmed that the pandemic has induced a rethink of how their organisations operate. 48% also agreed that the global crisis has made them evaluate the importance of their team, spurring them to think of better ways to reward loyalty and tenacity.

The race for equity could also be symptomatic of belts being tightened against the continued threat of COVID. With companies less able to offer competitive salaries, they can attract and retain the best talent by offering equity as part of their reward package.

Ifty Nasir, founder and CEO of Vestd, the share scheme platform for UK SMEs, writes that: “This is great news for everybody across the UK. We need to see a shift in the commercial landscape where everybody is rewarded fairly for contributing to British growth and industry. We know that providing equity foments loyalty and incentivises people like nothing else. The statistics around this subject are very clear. By rewarding others, you strengthen your business and you create the potential to change lives.”

Businesses still wasting money

The survey also found that many businesses are still wasting money by taking traditional but costly routes to setting up and managing their share schemes.

Nearly 80% of respondents will engage solicitors or accountants to help them with their schemes, potentially wasting thousands of pounds per annum. Only 25% stated that they were aware of cost-effective specialist digital share scheme apps like Vestd.

More research will be conducted later in the year to track the trend and to see which parts of the country are leading the charge with shared ownership.

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