Andrew Clark: Staff ownership boosts engagement

Employee ownership has moved further up the political and business agenda, which we at the John Lewis Partnership welcome.

One size does not fit all and the debate on how organisations are structured in order to broaden the UK’s economic base and ensure better staff engagement means many alternative forms of corporate ownership are rightly now being explored.

How a business engages with its staff has never been more crucial and giving them a greater stake in their employer means the interests of the business and the workforce can be more closely aligned. As a result, employee-owned businesses have better retention rates, more engagement and commitment from employees, and enjoy higher levels of wellbeing.

The Nuttall Review (July 2012) argued that employee ownership will help create a more balanced and diversified economy and threw down a challenge to both government and the private sector to expand the sector.

The coalition’s idea for an Institute for Employee Ownership is to be welcomed, but the priority now must be clarity on what it will achieve.

Andrew Clark is head of reward at John Lewis Partnership