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With the nature of work and corporate governance rapidly evolving, understanding the perspectives of employees on business ownership models is important. This report delves into the insights gained from a survey run by Ramsdens’ corporate team. The findings are particularly relevant in today’s economic environment, where employee satisfaction and consumer preferences play a pivotal role in shaping business success.

The survey targeted a diverse group of employees across various industries to gauge their opinions on employee-owned business models. Almost 1,000 workers participated, providing a representative sample of the UK’s workforce.

Key Findings

Positive Perception of Employee-Owned Businesses
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The survey revealed that 75% of workers believe an employee-owned business model is a fairer way to run a company. This sentiment is reinforced by those who have experience working in such environments:

  • Job satisfaction: 83% reported that their work was more satisfying in employee-owned companies
  • Collaboration: 77% observed increased cooperation among colleagues
  • Career choice influence: 68% stated that employee ownership influenced their decision to continue working in their current role
  • Efficiency and productivity: 80% felt they worked smarter and more efficiently due to having a stake in the company
  • Future employment preferences: 75% expressed a preference for working only in employee-owned companies going forward
  • Employee involvement in decision making: a significant 85% considered having a say in business operations important

Workforce’s Desire to Join Employee-Owned Businesses

The survey also uncovered a strong preference towards employee-owned businesses, with 80% of workers expressing a desire to work in such companies. UK workers who don’t currently work for an employee-owned business showed clear dissatisfaction with their current employment conditions: 

  • Lack of influence: 71% feel they lack a say in how their business is run
  • Transparency concerns: 47% perceive a lack of transparency regarding business performance
  • Restricted autonomy: 39% believe they don’t have sufficient freedom in decision-making regarding their work

Consumer Preference for Employee-Owned Business

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The survey highlighted a consumer perspective, with 75% of respondents saying they would be more inclined to purchase goods or services from an employee-owned business. This trend suggests a growing public awareness and appreciation for businesses where employees have a stake in the success and governance.

Based on the sentiment analysis of those more inclined to purchase goods or services from an employee-owned business, we can summarise the motivations behind this.

  • Value alignment: several respondents expressed a positive inclination towards employee-owned businesses due to alignment with their personal values. They appreciate the ethical and equitable aspects of such business models, indicating a preference for companies that empower their employees and promote fair business practices.
  • Quality and service expectations: some participants believe that employee-owned businesses are more likely to provide high-quality products and services. This perception stems from the idea that employees who have a stake in the business are more committed to ensuring customer satisfaction and maintaining high standards.
  • Support for local community and community businesses: a notable sentiment among respondents is the support for local and community-oriented businesses. They expressed a preference for investing in their local economy and supporting businesses that contribute positively to their communities.
  • Sustainable and ethical practices: the sustainability and ethical practices of employee-owned businesses were highlighted by some respondents. They indicated that such businesses often have more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices, which align with their personal beliefs and preferences.
  • Worker wellbeing and fairness: the wellbeing of workers and fairness in the workplace were important factors for some respondents. They expressed a positive view of employee-owned businesses as they often provide better working conditions and more equitable treatment of employees compared to traditional business models. 

Takeaways from the Survey Results

The findings from this survey have implications for the business community, employees and consumers. They reflect a growing shift in the workforce’s expectations and preferences towards more inclusive and participatory business models.

For Businesses

Companies may need to reassess their ownership structures and employee engagement strategies. Embracing employee-owned models could be a key differentiator in attracting and retaining talent, as evidenced by the high percentage of workers who prefer these models. Additionally, incorporating elements of employee ownership could enhance productivity and efficiency.

For Employees

The survey results underscore the importance of having a stake in the business they work for. Employees are seeking not just financial benefits but also a say in business decisions and greater transparency. This could lead to a workforce that is more motivated, satisfied and committed.

For Consumers

The preference of a significant portion of consumers to support employee-owned businesses indicates a shift in purchasing behaviour. It suggests that consumers are increasingly considering corporate governance and employee welfare in their buying decisions.

These trends are a clear indication that employee-owned business models are not just a niche preference but are rapidly gaining mainstream acceptance. They offer a potential roadmap for businesses looking to adapt to the evolving expectations of their workforce and consumer base.


This survey offers valuable insights into the evolving landscape of employee expectations and consumer preferences. The strong inclination towards employee-owned businesses among workers and consumers alike highlights a significant shift in attitudes towards corporate governance and workplace satisfaction. 

These findings present an opportunity for businesses to innovate and align with these emerging trends, potentially leading to more equitable, efficient and successful business models. As the workforce and market dynamics continue to evolve, understanding and responding to these preferences will be crucial for long-term business success and sustainability.

To read about our results in further detail, you can download our full survey findings here. If you wish to utilise any part of this data for editorial purposes, please credit Ramsdens Solicitors at