Three-quarters (75%) of respondents who participate in a share plan were more motivated and committed to their employers, according to research by Loughborough University.
The research, which took data from 1,500 employees in an HM Revenue and Customs- (HMRC) approved share plan, was commissioned by BT, IFS Proshare and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).
It also found:
- 60% of respondents said that participating in a share plan had given them a greater level of knowledge and understanding of how to manage their money.
- 66% of sharesave participants were more likely to produce better quality work.
- 50% said participation in an all-employee share plan would ensure they remained with their current employer for longer than they otherwise would.
John Collison, head of employee share ownership at IFS Proshare, said: “This detailed research provides further evidence that employee share plans can deliver very positive outcomes for employees and employers alike, even during financially-challenging times.
“The benefits to the wider economy are significant and we hope policymakers therefore take note of the findings, especially as the Chancellor is currently reviewing HMRC-approved share plans.”
Carol Dempsey, tax partner at PWC, said: “Employee share plans increase engagement and motivation and contribute to company success.
“We urge the government to take this research on board and follow through recent initiatives to the operation of share plans and make it easier for all employees to participate. Greater employee share ownership could help improve productivity and drive UK economic growth.”
Xavier Rolet, chief executive at London Stock Exchange Group, added: “Staff retention, commitment and performance can all be impacted by equity ownership and this research highlights that many employees would not have bought shares if they were not given the opportunity to participate in an employee share plan.
“Equity participation is vital for a successful and thriving economy, helping promote entrepreneurship, business growth and ultimately job creation.”