A new survey by John Zogby Strategies found that workers at private businesses owned by employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) place a higher priority on their companies’ commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) than employees at non-ESOP companies. The survey also found that employee-owned companies are more likely to deliver on those expectations, with S corporation ESOP workers giving their employers higher marks than their peers at non-ESOP companies for community investment, volunteering, economic opportunity, and social justice.
The survey, commissioned by the Employee-Owned S Corporations of America (ESCA), explored the opinions of rank-and-file employees on the importance of CSR at both ESOP and non-ESOP companies. Key findings include:
> Seven in 10 ESOP employees (72%) said their companies’ commitment to CSR was very important, compared to just 53% of non-ESOP employees.
> Only 2% of ESOP employees said their companies DO NOT value CSR, compared to 10% of non-ESOP employees.
> Greater than eight in 10 (84%) ESOP employees said it’s very important for their companies to invest in the local community, compared to 53% of non-ESOP employees.
> More than nine out of 10 ESOP employees (94%) felt their companies encourage volunteering in the local community, compared to just 76% of non-ESOP employees.
> ESOP employees were twice as likely as non-ESOP employees to say their companies made an effort to provide economic opportunity in the community.
> Nearly one half of ESOP employees said their companies made a high effort in a commitment to social justice/diversity/inclusion, compared to just one third of non-ESOP employees.
> ESOP employees would be less likely to accept a prospective job from an employer that did not have a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility.
“Workers across all industries, age groups, and demographics expect more from their employers than just a paycheck at the end of the day,” said Stephanie Silverman, President and CEO of ESCA. “Employee ownership isn’t only about delivering financial returns; it’s about providing a better culture and commitment to employee-owners. While we understand there is always work to be done, we are proud to see yet another data point demonstrating the strong advantage of employee ownership, especially when it comes to fostering a better workplace culture.”