The Atlantic – The Life-Changing Magic of Turning Employees Into Shareholders

From The Atlantic:

Research shows that companies with significant employee ownership grow faster than their conventionally-owned counterparts. They typically pay more, and they are less likely to lay people off in a downturn (let alone move all their operations overseas). Some have made their frontline employees and middle managers remarkably wealthy. A recent report highlighted the experience of a woman named Cathy Burch, a veteran hourly employee of Boise-based Winco, another grocery chain. Burch owns close to $1 million in Winco stock—and it didn’t cost her a dime. Many of these companies seem to encourage a more responsive and more cooperative management style in the workplace, one reason they are disproportionately represented on the various “Best Places to Work” lists. Fortune reporter Christopher Tkaczyk, who worked for five days at one of Publix’s Florida stores, describes his coworkers as “pleased-as-punch, over-the-moon, [and] ridiculously contented.” Publix’s voluntary turnover rate is 5 percent, compared to the retail industry’s average of 65 percent. It has never had a layoff in its history.

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