Corey Rosen is the founder of the National Center for Employee Ownership.
In what ways does employee share ownership serve a useful purpose?Employee ownership provides a way to create a more equitable, effective economy. Returns to capital have dwarfed anaemic growth in wages for 40 years, creating a have/have not society. Sharing ownership addresses this problem in a way that uses, rather than constrains, the free enterprise system. When combined with effective employee engagement programs, it also creates more productive companies.
How can we widen and deepen the adoption and use of employee share ownership?Existing tax incentives in the U.S. are impressive; in the UK, great progress has been made, but more can be done. But many business owners and leaders do not proceed with employee ownership more because they do not understand it more because it won’t add to their bottom line. More outreach can help address that.
What would you tell someone on the fence about introducing employee share ownership to their company?Employee engagement has been shown repeatedly to be the most effective driver corporate performance, and broad-based employee ownership the most effective way to generate it. Most plans also generate substantial tax benefits. Everyone wins.Sadly, too many company leaders only think “key” people matter. That’s demonstrably wrong. Everyone matters. The more ideas you get from the more people, the better you do.
What do you think will change about employee share ownership over the next five years?I see increasing growth, especially as baby boomers retire and look for ways to transition out.
What has been the most important development in employee share ownership during your career?I am in the U.S. so the passage of legislation creating employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) has been the seminal event.
Why do you think employee share ownership has enjoyed cross-party support in the UK?Ownership creates more capitalists (great for conservatives), more fairness (great for liberals), and better economic performance (better for everyone).
Which aspect of the Esop Centre do you most value?Information.
Which aspect of the Esop Centre would you most like to change?Can’t say from across the Atlantic.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?A hike in a beautiful place.
What is your most marked characteristic?Passion for employee ownership.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?Founding the National Center for Employee Ownership.
What historical figure do you most identify with?I don’t really know.
Which living person do you most admire?My wife.
Who are your heroes in real life?My father and the leaders of great employee ownership companies.
Which word or phrases do you most overuse?I can’t think of any – people did not think of any either.
What is your most treasured possession?My photos from trips.