Employees with shares more engaged
Loughborough University published the findings of its four-year study into the human impact of HMRC-approved all-employee share plans. The most widely used scheme is Save as You Earn (SAYE) – also known as Sharesave or Savings Related Share Option Schemes.
The study found that as well as the large percentage of employees who were more engaged, 71% of SAYE participants were more likely to consider the cost implications of their actions and 66% produced a higher quality of work.
Another benefit of share ownership schemes is that 50% of employees said participation in all-employee share plans would ensure they remained with their current employer for longer than they otherwise would.
Head of employee share ownership at not-for-profit organisation ifs Proshare, John Collison, said: "This research provides further evidence that employee share plans can deliver positive outcomes for employees and employers alike – even during financially challenging times."
The research also revealed that 60 per cent of employees felt that participating in a share plan had given them a greater knowledge and understanding of how to manage their money.
It remains to be seen if the Government will urge more companies to offer shares to their employees. In June this year deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said: "We need more individuals to have a stake in their firms. More of a John Lewis economy. And what people don't realise about employee ownership is that it is a hugely underused tool in unlocking growth.
"Lower absenteeism. Less staff turnover. Lower production costs. In general, higher productivity and higher wages. They weathered the economic downturn better than other companies," he added.
Tax partner at accountancy firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Carol Dempsey, said: "We urge the Government to take this research on board and follow through on recent initiatives to the operation of share plans and make it easier for all employees to participate."
The study took data from 1,500 participants in an HMRC-approved share plan at numerous companies in various sectors of the UK economy.