All of us at SunEarth work hard each day to anticipate risks and adapt to our market. Bigger risks like a recession are harder to predict. One piece of good news, however, is that working at an employee-owned business like ours may actually be a safer bet during a recession. Back in 2008, many companies had to shut their doors when the cash stopped flowing, and the national unemployment rate peaked at 10% in 2010.
According to the 2010 General Social Survey, 12.1% of adults working the private sector reported being laid off that year. Meanwhile, only 2.3% of adults working in a company that offered some form of employee ownership reported being laid off. That nearly 10% spread means that hundreds of thousands of employee-owners continued working even during the worst economy many of us have seen.
Why do employee-owned companies lay off fewer of their workers? One of the obvious reasons is that each of our employees own the company. During tough times, we may all have to adjust, but employee ownership means that our people are here for the long haul. That creates a very different working environment than a business where employees are seen as expendable.
We may not be able to predict the future, but we do know we’re better prepared for whatever comes with a team like ours.