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How Employee Ownership Benefits Owners
Ownership is difficult; why make one person take it all on?
For business owners, the concept of employee ownership might raise concerns. This is understandable, as it involves relinquishing control over the business they've worked hard to develop. However, employee ownership is nothing to fear. Riverford, a farming and produce company in the UK, demonstrates how employee ownership is good for business and the owners. Their Founder, Guy Signh-Watson, found that employee ownership really was the best decision for his company.
Signh-Watson found that after his business was employee-owned, it took a massive weight off of his shoulders. He no longer needed to worry about making every major decision; now, his employees help make those. It led to more thoughtful and less impulsive decision-making. Moreover, employees already understood how to run the business; they were the most trusted hands he could have handed it over to. The business’s performance further substantiates this; it performed better post-employee ownership. Likely a combination of democratic decision-making as well as generally increased employee morale.
I believe one person should not be in control of every aspect of a business from a moral, personal, and economic perspective. Businesses are cooperative; the employee ownership model treats them as such. Workers deserve a say in how a business is run, and owners deserve a respite from the burdens of sole ownership. Collective control leads to greater collective benefit.
You can read more about Riverford and its model here.