A recent survey conducted by John Zogby Strategies and commissioned by Employee-Owned S Corporations of America (ESCA) concluded that workers at private businesses owned by employee stock ownership plans (ESOP) place a higher priority on their companies’ commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) than employees at non-ESOP companies. The research explored the opinions of rank-and-file employees on the importance of CSR at both ESOP and non-ESOP companies.
The study, titled “Survey of ESOP and Non-ESOP Employee Opinions on the Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility Principles and Their Employers’ Commitment to Them,” involved two surveys using a sample of 200 ESOP employees below the executive level and a sample of 400 non-ESOP employees below the executive level. Both subjective and objective measurements revealed significant differences between the two groups. The study showed that ESOP employees express a more intense concern for these principles than non-ESOP employee peers. Below are some key findings from the study (linked below):
- 72% of ESOP employees said their companies’ commitment to CSR was very important, compared to just 52% of non-ESOP employees.
- More than nine out of 10 ESOP employees felt their companies encourage volunteering in the local community, compared to 76% of non-ESOP employees.
- More than eight in 10 ESOP employees said it’s very important for their companies to invest in the local community, compared to 53% of non-ESOP employees.
- Nearly half of ESOP employees said their companies made a high effort in a commitment to social justice/diversity/inclusion, compared to one-third of non-ESOP employees.
- ESOP employees were twice as likely as non-ESOP employees to say their companies made an effort to provide economic opportunity in the community.
These findings suggest that working for an ESOP-owned company provides a better culture and commitment to employee-owners. Backed by both subjective and objective data, the study shows that employee-owned businesses are exceeding nonemployee-owned organizations in areas such as community investment, volunteering, economic opportunity, and social justice.
Stephanie Silverman, president and CEO of ESCA, said, “Workers across all industries, age groups, and demographics expect more from their employers than just a paycheck at the end of the day. Employee ownership isn’t only about delivering financial returns; it’s about providing a better culture and commitment to employee-owners. While we understand there is always work to be done, we are proud to see yet another data point demonstrating the strong advantage of employee ownership, especially when it comes to fostering a better workplace culture.”