Workers won’t invest in their own employers
“It’s not that we don’t trust you with our money, but…”
Almost two-thirds of employees wouldn’t invest in the company for which they work, simply because they don’t trust their bosses with their money.
A national employment law consultancy found that workers would be suspicious of their employers’ motives if they asked for money, while many didn’t think that such investment would be possible, and didn’t understand how business concepts such as shares worked.
Protecting.co.uk says that British companies could be missing out on millions of pounds of potential in-house investment simply because they don’t sell themselves well enough to their own staff.
“We found a jaded workforce that worries about giving money to their boss because they fear they might never see it again,” says Protecting.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall. “And who can blame staff who often see a lack of trust and innovation first hand on a daily basis.”
Protecting.co.uk asked over 500 employees whether they would invest in their own company, either to ensure current operations were maintained, or to develop a new product or service.
• 61% wouldn’t invest in the company they work for
• 16% said they would invest in their employer
• 23% didn’t know if they would or not
• 32% said they would invest in a competitor
• 38% didn’t know that employee investment was possible
“Companies have a huge pool of ready employee capital at their fingertips, if only they knew how to exploit it,” says Protecting.co.uk ‘s Mark Hall. “They’re finding to their cost that if you treat your staff with contempt and take them for granted, they’re less likely to help the company out financially.”
Protecting.co.uk found several reasons why staff are less than likely to give money to their employers, even if they were promised a good return on their investment:
• Lack of trust in company management
• Lack of innovation
• Not knowing what shares are, or how investment works
• No personal cash to spare
These opinions are backed up by comments from employees working in Britain’s manufacturing sector:
Tessa, 38: “They sacked all my workmates and now I’m doing the work of four people. Why should I give them my money?”
Saul, 34: “The only innovation we’ve seen round here in the last five years is when the financial director got himself a Toyota Prius.”
Gregg, 29: “Put it this way – IF I had the money to spare I’d put it in [name of competitor] instead. They’ve got a far better product and I hear they don’t treat their staff like potential criminals”
Mark Hall of Protecting.co.uk says “The story here is that workers don’t trust their bosses enough to invest in them. They’re sick of being taken for granted, and think it a cheek that they are then offered the ‘opportunity’ to invest in them.”
Hall says that employees in workplaces where they are treated with respect are far more likely to plough money back into the business. This is because they realise they have a vested interest in working harder and making their investment pay, he says.
“If you make your people hate you so much they’d rather give money to your competitors, then you’re doing it wrong,” says Hall.
“Invest in your people, and they’ll invest in you.”